No Less A Woman! No More A Victim!
Breast cancer and self-esteem have always had a complicated relationship, because with Breast Cancer it’s not just about being sick, it is also about losing a sense of who you are. The insidious thing about illness is that it has a way of entering our lives and challenging our feelings of worth.
28 Liz Hurley
Beauty with a purpose
From Kylie Minogue to Sheryl Crow, a look at women who have survived in style.
By October 2010, EstÈe Lauder’s Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign and its retail Partners will have raised $45 million since 1993 for the Breast Cancer Research foundation. This year, the BCA Campaign has a new and provocative theme:
26 Around the world and in Qatar, organisations and individuals come together to spread awareness of early detection of breast cancer. A look at some interesting moves.
“Using movies as a medium”
Palestinian-French actress Yasmine Al-Massri belongs to the emerging creed of artists who have given Arab cinema a new dimension, one that portrays long suppressed issues in a subtle yet effective style. In a freewheeling interview she talks about using her art to overcome obstacles.
36 health & fitness
Sharing the art of better living, Nicole Van Hattem suggests how to tackle snack attacks. She throws in a few yummy recipes too.
A Fit Mind inside a Fit Body
10 work wise
Money doesn’t spell S-U-C-c-E-S-S In her new column, Carolin Zeitler explores different ways of defining success, not wanting to limit it to the most common definition: how much money you make?
Moufida Cheikh, of Aspetar, shares her time tested stress busters. Stress affects women more than men because women have a tendency to be more emotionally invested in their work, she says.
Pump it up, summer has passed!
Are you feeling as if you’ve done very little this summer? Here are some simple exercises that will ease you back into routine.
8 in short
Sweet smell of freedom
Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi shares with Woman Today the nuances of her life and captivity in Iran, in an up-close and personal interview.
42 style stop
Staying on top of work mails
E-mails are a work tool, learn to use it effectively. Bayt.com presents four smart tips.
VOLUME V / ISSUE 9
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Yousuf Jassem Al Darwish Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Sehgal Executive Vice President Alpana Roy Vice President Ravi Raman
Managing Editor Vani Saraswathi Deputy Editor Sindhu Nair assistant Editors Ahmad Lotfy Ali John Hunt Editorial Co-ordinator Cassey Oliveira Contributor Shalinee Bharadwaj Art Director Venkat Reddy Asst Director – production Sujith Heenatigala assistant Art Director Hanan Abu Saiam Senior Graphic Designers Ayush Indrajith Sampath Gunathilaka M D Managers – Marketing Mohammed Sami Zulfikar Jiffry Senior Media Consultant Chaturka Karandana Media Consultants Victoria Ferraris HASSAN REKKAB Marketing research & support executive amjeth ali
Accountant Pratap Chandran
sr. distribution Executive Bikram Shrestha Distribution Support Arjun Timilsina Bhimal rai
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FROM THE EDITOR
During early puberty, I remember walking around with books, magazines or bags held protectively across my chest. And around me were my peers finding other means of coming to terms with their changing physiology – a hunched back here and a baggy shirt there. It’s not easy being a teen – male or female, and it gets even more complicated when the signs of puberty are there for public scrutiny. It is a long, tedious process of hits and misses before a woman gets totally comfortable with her body, and whether we like it or not, our breasts play a role in the fashions we adopt and the personality we wish to show. The uneasiness continues into adulthood – with the fear of the Big C. In the Arab world, studies show that women miss out on early detection because they are too inhibited to speak about their breasts to their physicians or to even examine themselves. What is an important part of our body – just as our ears and eyes and limbs – has been sexualised to such a degree that it’s taboo to speak of it. In the West and other industrialised nations, where the stigma is not so great, women are willing to discuss issues pertaining to breast cancer in a frank and open manner. However, this is not the case in cultures such as the one we live in. It’s critical that we help young girls be comfortable about who they are, and how they look. To teach them to respect their body enough to give it due attention. This is especially important since a lot of younger women are being diagnosed with breast cancer in the Middle East. We need to understand and communicate that talking about BREASTS is the smart thing to do. The taboo or stigma attached to it needs to be broken. So, this month we speak to two women who inspire us to take on bold steps for the right reasons. Women who have faced problems head on, and have come out winners: IranianAmerican journalist Roxana Saberi and Palestinian-French actress Yasmine Al-Massri. Be aware, be bold, be safe!
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this publication whilst I was relaxing in Movenpick spa at the weekend. I was particularly interested to see that you had interviewed one of my colleagues Dana Haidan. I am currently working on a ‘Womens Career Development Programme’ for Qatargas ladies and there was a large piece at the end of the magazine including some statistics on women in business which I found most informative. Also there was an article of the only female GM in Qatar’s hospitality industry – a real inspiration! Julia Calleiga Lots to learn I love reading your magazine. I like reading and this magazine helps me a lot. I love Style Stop because it tells a lot about fashion. I like reading about different women who have succeeded in their life in different ways. In this issue I liked the article vacation or vexation. Your magazine helps me a lot and teaches me so much about life. Waiting for the next issue. Aaliya A VIBRANT MIX The September issue of Woman Today presented a vibrant mix of everything – from enhancing our physical and spiritual health to trotting the globe on our best feet forward. Living up in style is every
woman’s dream and right. The short and precise tips on ‘The new you’ proved to be a shake box, reminding us of stuff that we often tend to overlook. The article on osteoporosis was quite informative. I have a friend who came to know of this silent killer at a late stage and had to suffer from this. In our busy schedules we often neglect the kind of food we eat, tilting more towards quick fixes and junk food. Prevention is better than cure and it’s not only for us but is also upon us to take extreme care of the kind of food habits we develop in our children. Seema Gadgil INTERESTING READ How painful it is to come back to the ruckus after a sweet vacation at your favourite dream destination! While the thoughts keep lingering on the leisurely time spent, we have to be alert and mentally back to the work and routine of a busy life. ‘Vacation or vexation’ gave some useful hints at making this transition smoother on nerves and the return more enjoyable. Meeting the women of substance is always an inspiring read. Hania Mroue and Emel Atikkan, both successful in their respective fields have sent across this one message of never losing your identity and following the path where your heart lies. Overall the issue made an interesting read. Lena Al Mathathi
off your butt! Use your derriere more for standing and less for sitting, and
you’ll live longer. A recent study shows that compared to those who sat for less than three hours a day, those who sat for at least six hours dramatically increased their chances of ill-health and early mortality. Sitting too much turned out to be bad for everyone in the study, but even more so for females.
F mood Your
is in your
Olive on the mark
ake olive oil a staple in your diet, not only for its great taste, but for all the good it does. It’s an amazing source of antioxidants, capable of dousing inflammation, defending cells from menacing molecules, and more. Olive oil’s cancer-preventing powers are legendary. Polyphenols, the potent plant antioxidants protect against cancer-causing cell damage. The oil’s monounsaturated fat has anticancer effects too, which means olive oil packs quite a one-two punch! It’s heart friendly. Olive oil ups good HDL cholesterol, lowers bad LDL cholesterol, and reduces other harmful blood fats (triglycerides). It also reduces inflammation, another contributor to cardiovascular disease. It keeps BP down. Those potent polyphenols appear to dilate arteries, which lowers blood pressure (always choose extra-virgin olive oil, by the way – its minimal processing preserves the maximum number of antioxidants and heat-sensitive vitamins). It eases headaches. Try routinely dressing your salad or veggies in extra-virgin olive oil. It contains oleocanthal, a natural compound that, like ibuprofen, blocks pain-producing and inflammatory substances – but without the risk of stomach upset.
eeling low? Down in the dumps? Check what’s on your plate and in your glass. Nutrition experts say that the foods you eat can help you feel better – or feel worse – in the short-term and the long-term. Eating a heart healthy diet – high in fibre and low in saturated fat – is a great place to start to boost your mood, say experts. Conversely, a high-fat, high-glycaemic load meal can make you physically feel dysfunction in your body.
Rinse your mouth for that lie! score ?
he amount of time children spend reading books for enjoyment decreases as they use cell phones and other mobile technology, but e-books might just bring them back to literature, according to a recent report. The study, which was conducted by educational and media company Scholastic and Harrison Group, a marketing and research consulting firm, also found parents are concerned that greater access to technology would limit time reading or with family. However, the study found that technology might actually encourage a child to read. Of the kids polled in the study, 57 percent said they would be interested in reading an e-book. About one-third of children said they would read more books for pleasure if e-books were more available to them. Sixty-six percent, however, said they would continue to read books in print even with greater e-book availability.
times filthier than public toilet seats
A study carried out in hotels, restaurants, banks, offices and airports found 313 ‘colony forming units’ of bugs on every square centimetre of lift button. The equivalent surface area of toilet seat had only eight units. The bacteria on the lift buttons could include stomach bugs such as E coli, researchers say. In a busy building, a lift button can be touched by dozens of people who will have come into contact with all kinds of bacteria every hour. Even if the buttons are cleaned regularly, the potential for the build up of bacteria is high, experts stress. So don’t forget to wash your hands before you grab a bite.
he US FDA has warned Walgreen Co, Johnson & Johnson, and CVS Corp to stop making unproven claims that their mouth rinse products can reduce plaque above the gum line, promote gum health, and prevent gum disease. The companies claim their mouthwashes are effective in preventing gum disease, but no such benefit has been demonstrated, the FDA says in a news release. The FDA says it sent warning letters notifying the three companies of its objections to their claims and ordering them to comply with existing federal regulations. The mouth rinse products contain the active ingredient sodium fluoride, but the agency says it has determined that the substance, while effective in preventing cavities, has not been shown to remove plaque or prevent gum disease.
Laptops off your lap
Do you work with your laptop on your lap? Don’t take the moniker so seriously, and get rid of the habit. Regular use in such a manner can lead to 'toasted skin syndrome', an unusual-looking mottled skin condition caused by long-term heat exposure. Major manufacturers including Apple, Hewlett Packard and Dell warn in user manuals against placing laptops on laps or exposed skin for extended periods of time because of the risk of burns. A medical report several years ago found that men who used laptops on their laps had elevated scrotum temperatures. If prolonged, that kind of heat can decrease sperm production, which can potentially lead to infertility. Whether laptop use itself can cause that kind of harm hasn’t been confirmed. 2010 October
In her current column, Carolin Zeitler explores different ways of defining success, not wanting to limit it to the most common definition: how much money you make. So over the next few months, she tells us a story about a woman’s success and reflects upon what we can learn from it to broaden our own view on success.
iriam used to work in a big company. The longer she worked there, the more she found out about some of the employees being grossly underpaid and the detrimental effect the company’s production was having on the environment. Although she herself earned a good salary and had favourable conditions, she found herself questioning what she was doing. She found it hard not to get into arguments with her colleagues or even her manager. Miriam felt it was beyond her power to change the policies of the company. She would have liked to do that but felt she was quite alone with her opinion and too impatient to wait for a gradual change to take place.
She needed to do something. She needed a reason to get out of bed in the mornings again. She wanted to be proud of what she was doing. Around that time, she came across a short biography of Anita Roddick, the founder of the Body Shop, and learned to her amazement that Anita only opened her first shop when she was 33. Her passion and determination quickly led to success, though, and before one year had passed, Anita had already opened her second store. Miriam read a quote by Anita, that really spoke to her: “To succeed you have to believe in something with such passion that it becomes a reality.” Miriam looked around her flat and wondered what she could develop a strong passion for. What did she love? What did she believe in? Her eyes fell on her
I want to work for a company that contributes to and is part of the community. I want something not just to invest in. I want something to believe in. Anita Roddick well-stocked bookshelves. On some of her favourite titles. With each one she remembered when she read it and what an impact it had had on her life, the process it had kicked off or reinforced for her. Another one of Anita's quotes came to Miriam’s mind: “I want to work for a company that contributes to and is part of the community. I want something not just to invest in. I want something to believe in.” This quote really resonated with Miriam and so she didn’t waste any more time but started a blog in which she discussed the books that had really had an impact on her and asked her friends to send in their contributions too. It started as a hobby with which she wanted to
Key behaviours: Attitude Ask yourself: “What do I believe in? What do I feel passionate about?”, then align your life, your work and your hobbies with your values. Interaction Discuss your values with your friends and family. Let people know what you are passionate about. Flow See how your values and your passion fit into the bigger picture. Are there needs in your community that you can meet by following your passion? Can you align your values with the values of the society around you?
make a contribution to the community. After a few months her blog got quite a following and many enthusiasts sent in articles about their own favourite inspirational reads. Miriam also got many requests about where the books could be bought and started to link to a major bookselling site which allowed her to make a bit of commission off her blog. After almost two years of consistently keeping the blog up in her free time, answering posts and comments as well as editing and linking articles that were sent to her, Miriam decided to give up her day job to dedicate all her time to recommending and selling books online. Now her life is transformed. She looks back to what it was two years ago and can’t believe that she lived such a dull and, as she now sees it, purposeless existence. Yes, she has less money and less free time now, but she is so much happier with what she does. She loves it when people ask: “What do you do?” and she can answer: “I have my own business. We recommend and sell books that are food for soul and spirit.” One definition of success is... ... that you work in accordance with your beliefs and values, that you have the opportunity to make a contribution to the community.
What did Miriam do to make it happen? She demonstrated self-reflection, initiative and drive. She tapped into her passion and used it to create her own blog. She persevered and consistently pursued what she believed in.
When the time came, she ‘jumped’, she knew when it was time to stand on her own two feet
How can that apply to your life? The first step is to be clear on what your values are. What do you believe in? What behaviours/rules would lead to a better world in your opinion? What do you feel strongly about? Collect your answers to all these questions, then find what your answers have in common, so you can distil them, create one new one to replace two old ones. Once you have summarised, try to create one to three sentences that reflect the essence of what you believe. Now you have a ‘personal manifesto’ to check your actions and decisions against!
The writer is the Director & Founder of Arcata Interactive Communication Coaching and Initiator of the How Women Work Conference. She combined the skills and experience she gained from being a Personal Coach, Dance Therapist and Managing Director for many years to create unique coaching programmes that inspire, encourage and empower people to make a difference. For more information please go to www.arcata.cc 2010 October
Staying on top of work mails More than just send, reply or forward
E-mail has become an indispensable tool for building up oneâ€™s work efficiency. However, it is a well-proven fact that in case of bad management, handling e-mails could turn into a total waste of time and a major cause of inefficiency. The following are the key guidelines to stay on top of your e-mails at work and get the best results out of them.
Always scan your incoming work e-mails: identify spam and prioritise the rest. This can be done by: Checking the senderâ€™s name (are you expecting anything urgent from this specific person?) Checking subject lines (title looks urgent to you or not?) Checking the priority that the sender has given the e-mail message.
Fostering a 'Staged Replies' technique is always advisable when your inbox is jammed with loads of work-related e-mails, as this allows you to maintain contact with the sender, even when you have more important tasks to focus on. There are usually two types of incoming e-mails: Clear-cut e-mails: Send out a brief reply right away when an e-mail requires you to (i.e.: confirmation of a meeting attendance: Thank you, Iâ€™ll be there). Donâ€™t drag or keep it lying in your inbox. E-mails demanding attention: This is when further information needs to be collected or further thinking might be required from you before sending out a reply or action plan. Inform the person concerned though, that you will be getting to him/her in due time. Always try to keep the waiting time down to a minimum.
Maintain a logical e-mail filing system Get as innovative as you want, but make sure you keep it simple and uncomplicated in order for you to access your archives easily in the future. (i.e. create general folders and divide them into subfolders following a standardised criterion such as date, topic or sender, etc.)
Get rid of all e-mails that you do not need Make sure to go over your inbox and delete all irrelevant e-mails at least once a week. Make it a point to send all your unwanted e-mails to the 'deleted messages' section once you have archived what you want to hang on to.
And... Set specific times to handle your incoming mails during the course of your work day. It is usually advisable to check them at least three times a day, especially during busy periods of work. Put your 'out of office' reply on when you are taking time off. This will obviously prevent senders from repeatedly sending e-mails your way once they have initiated the first contact (and gotten your automated response). Always leave the name and contact of the person in charge while you are away and remember to state when exactly you are expected back in the office for senders to know when to contact you again, if needed. Protect yourself against spam: This can be done by using a filtering system, setting high levels of privacy in your account options, avoid subscription to unwanted newsletters, etc.
From the Career Experts at Bayt.com, the #1 job site in the Middle East with more than 30,000 employers and over 3.5 million registered job seekers from across the Middle East, North Africa and the globe, representing all industries, nationalities and career levels. Post a job or find jobs on www.bayt.com today and access the leading resource for job seekers and employers in the region.
Using movies as a medium By Sindhu Nair
asmine Al-Massri is a Palestinian-French actress, video artist, and dancer born in Lebanon. She belongs to the emerging creed of artistes who have given Arab cinema a new dimension, one that portrays long suppressed issues in a subtle yet effective style. She was in the country for a Doha Film Institute (DFI) workshop and made time to meet journalists, not one, but the whole bunch of us in Doha. Third in the media line up, I scanned her face for a twinge of annoyance or a hint of impatience, but only found excitement in her eyes. Either she was too good an actress or I was way too suspicious. But my reservations evaporated, for she knew how to keep a journalist happy.
Speaking about Caramel Caramel, a hugely successful Lebanese film, was Yasmineâ€™s launch pad. The film premiered at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and was distributed in over 40 countries, easily becoming the most internationally acclaimed Lebanese film to date. The story revolves around five Lebanese women and tackles forbidden love, binding traditions,
“Life for me at that point, could best be described as a double tragedy – being a Palestinian and living in Lebanon during the war.”
making the movie, “We didn’t think of Nadine as an authority, so there was no pressure. She was also acting with us. There were no ego clashes, we blended well and the effort showed. And she worked on an interesting format. When we rehearsed, we cracked jokes and Nadine, as a director, was smart enough to listen. And sometimes she made us improvise on the funny remarks we had made impromptu and incorporated that into the movie. It all came together beautifully.” Movie making is a joint effort, everyone from the technicians to the producer of the movie work together to make it a success. “We were a group of 50 but it was more like a family. All of us worked with a purpose, that the movie be screened at Cannes.” The Lebanese are very ambitious, she says. “They share this trait with us Palestinians.” And with that remark, she steers the conversation to a biting issue, one that has constantly bothered her...
Healing old wounds repressed sexuality, the struggle to accept the natural process of ageing, and duty vs. desire. The movie chose not to showcase a war-ravaged Beirut, but rather a warm and inviting locale where people dealt with universal issues. For Yasmine, the best part of the movie was not its success but the fact that she found a friend in the director/actress of the movie, Nadine Labaki. “Caramel was a nice surprise. But the turning point was meeting Nadine. That changed my life and my career. I met her in Paris through a Palestinian director, Tawfic Abou Woul. We became friends and a year later she asked me to film myself and send her the tape.” It was as simple as that, she laughs. “Knowing the person, being her friend was the biggest advantage,” she says about the process of
Caramel was important to Yasmine at a personal level as well. She was returning to her place of birth after six long years in Paris. It was a revisiting of old wounds, she says. “I wanted to return to Lebanon only after I proved to the world that as a Palestinian I too could be successful. There was a lot of anger within me, waiting to explode.” She talks of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon who are mired in poverty, and are invisible since their issues are not addressed sufficiently. “About 99 percent of the job opportunities are not open to Palestinians in Lebanon. If you are a Palestinian refugee, even if you are highly qualified, you would be unable to work in key professions. “When you are young and full of energy to change the world, like I was when I was in Lebanon, this comes as a shock. And that’s why I went to Paris, to do things that I have always wanted to do, but was
not allowed to in the country I lived. “When Nadine offered me this role, it made me face the anger within me,” she says. Caramel helped Yasmine not just artistically but personally too, as it made her change her outlook of the country she fled from. “It made me think, maybe I can work there and help my own people face the situation; do what I could to help ease the pain for them.”
Beirut, in moments of crisis Growing up in Beirut during the civil war was not easy, not just for Palestinian refugees but for the Lebanese too, she recalls. “Everything was political. There were no human relations, it was just not possible. Brothers would fight each other over political matters. There was no trust. “My childhood was always confined – from my home to the school premises. The school was very close to our house, still my mother used to escort my brothers, sister and me, to the school. We had no playmates outside the house, there was no outing,” she says. Survival was THE most important factor. “Education too becomes important,” she stresses. “Life for me at that point could best be described as a double tragedy, being a Palestinian and being in Lebanon during the war.” But all this hasn’t marred her optimistic nature; she feels she has been lucky to have had the choice to move out and study in Paris. “Since I had a double tragedy, I now want to enjoy every moment of life, in double,” she laughs. She recounts her first boat trip in Spain recently. “I am 30 and having my first boat ride; it was the most wonderful moment in life... It made me realise that if I could help at least one child enjoy the best in life, it would be a great thing for me to do.” This, she says, is why Miral, is so important for her. 2010 October
“Nisrine represents a segment of women who want to prove themselves. Women who want to prove that they are good mothers, who can work along with men and who want to be successful in everything they do while adhering to their age-old traditions.”
“My passion is dancing”
“In Lebanon, I didn’t even think what I should or would be doing. But when I got a chance to study in Paris, I started thinking about what I love best. I took up dance classes, Arab oriental dance classes and I learnt the finer aspects of dancing. I took a fine arts degree. But how could I ignore the Arab sensuality, the Arab music. Now I had to deal with the European clichès of the Arab world. So I talked about the Arab dance movements, the sensuality of the body in dance movements. I educated them about our dance forms...”
“I believe in keeping a secret” “Every woman has a secret garden and she should keep it to herself” I believe that for every woman, there is this secret world, an intimate imaginative place that stimulates her....
“The more I work, the harder I work” “That is the secret to my success...”
“A big responsibility” “I believe that as an artist, we are part of a segment that can affect a larger audience, and that is a big responsibility. I believe that as human beings, we should respect others and art is how we show our respect to the world”
“You chose your destiny by what you wear” “Every woman goes through these moments...of choosing what she wears for the day, choosing what image she wants to portray for the day. Like if she chooses something provocative, she feels bold...”
Miral, Yasmine’s latest movie directed by Julian Schnabel, is a true story based on journalist Rula Jebreal’s autobiographic novel. Rula depicts her childhood and her adolescence in Jerusalem East in Miral. She was brought up by Hind Al-Hussein, a Palestinian woman who took in a child victims of an Israeli attack and who founded a boarding school for Palestinian children. “Miral talks about a girl who is saved because she had the choice of education. Education gave her the freedom to think and to act. The wonderful thing about the movie is that it is a message from the Palestinian people, far from the clichès portrayed by the media.” The movie is far stronger than any political statement, feels Yasmine. “It shows the destinies of women in Palestine, of their life, their difficulties. And the movie talks to you in English and hence will affect a wider audience.”
The changing phase of movies Yasmine talks about the character she played in Caramel – Nisrine, who like every woman has a secret in her life. “Nisrine represents a segment of women, not just in Lebanon, but all over the world, who want to prove themselves. Women who want to prove that they are pure. Women who want to prove that they are good mothers, who can work along with men and women who want to be successful in everything they do while adhering to their age-old traditions.” So is Nisrine similar to Yasmine? “No,“ she states categorically, “Nisrine is more like my neighbour. Like women who I meet in my daily life.” “The new generation do not accept anything without questioning, they want to reflect on their role, on the role of culture in their upbringing and many other issues that affect them, and it is time to talk about all the taboos,“ says Yasmine. “All the movies that I have chosen, or have chosen me, address issues that are predominant in the region, be it Miral, Caramel or Pomegranates
and Myrrh.” On the changing dimension of Arab movies, she says, “It is time we respect the natural intelligence of the common man, who wants to see a movie. Films are not just for diversion. I feel everyone wants to think and are concerned about what is happening around the world.” And after the economic crisis everyone is going through a moral dilemma, a critical self examination, asking themselves, “What did I do?” and “What can I do to change the world?” Speaking about herself in this changing scenario, Yasmine says, “I don’t just act, I react.”
Sweet smell of freedom Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi shares with Woman Today the nuances of her life and captivity in Iran, in an up-close and personal interview with Myriam Chandna.
L You're blindfolded, and you hear the voices of your male interrogators behind you. They are telling you, that you must confess that you're a spy. If you do, we will free you. If not, we can keep you here for 10 or 20 years. Can you imagine what you'll look like then? 20
ast month, Roxana Saberi was in town to deliver a lecture on her life in captivity and her take on freedom. Hosted by Northwestern University in Qatar, the Education City campus of her alma mater in Evanston, Illinois, she highlighted the lack of media freedom and human rights violations in Iran, and the impact it had on the lives of thousands of ordinary Iranians. To a packed room, she also conveyed the challenges she faced during the time she served in Evin Prison on unproved charges of espionage. "Imagine that you are in a room like the one I described," said Roxana, during her talk, referring to a black and white image of a closeted prison cell with a broken toilet, sink with contaminated water, and metal barred windows up near the ceiling through which only a ray or two of sunlight could make its way through to the imprisoned.
The Road to Evin On April 26, 2008, she celebrated her birthday in her northern Tehran apartment, along with over 30 friends. She ate, sang, and danced to Persian tunes with her guests late into the night. But the following year, when Roxana celebrated her 32nd birthday, the party was not quite like the previous one.
Instead, the Iranian-American journalist sat starving on a hunger strike with her two cellmates, locked up in Iran's notorious Evin Prison on charges of espionage – which she repeatedly denied. She did, however, manage to receive from her parents a bouquet of fresh-cut red roses, which was later confiscated. But having spent six years reporting in Iran, conducting research for a book on Iranian culture and society before her arrest, Roxana had grown to love her paternal homeland enough to continue spreading the word about the goodness and ingenuity of its people. “I miss Iran, we’re very close though, aren’t we?” she said, seated in the lobby of the Grand Hyatt in Doha. With her arrest and later her release, clouding the person behind the headlines, Roxana’s personal attachment to her Iranian roots is often overshadowed. “The Iranian people have a strong sense of national identity, which I find admirable,” she said. “I love Iran and I love the people, who were generally warm and hospitable to me. That is why I stayed for six years when I had originally planned to stay for just a couple,” said Roxana. Her interest in Iran developed during her academic years at the Joseph Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. “I earned a scholarship to go to Cambridge in
England and later I started working there. During this time, I became more interested in my father’s background. I was half Iranian but I couldn’t speak Farsi, which I learned while I was in Iran. I wanted to know more about my Iranian identity, and I wanted to report from Iran, because it was hot in the news, and I knew it would remain so for years to come,” she said. Dispelling misconceptions and stereotypes about Iranian society, Roxana insists that those who imprisoned her are not representative of a majority of the population. Ordinary Iranians, according to her, highly appreciate political prisoners once they are released because they know that the prisoners were simply standing up for basic human rights. “After I was released, people I ran into in the streets, my neighbours all apologised to me as if it was their fault that I was imprisoned. One of the taxi drivers in fact told me that a local bazaar was selling ‘Roxana scarves!’” she said, referring to a light blue headscarf or hejab which she was seen wearing in photos circulating in the media. Roxana's ordeal finally came to an end on May 11, 2009, when she was released on appeal. "I have not been to Iran since then, but I wish that someday I could go back. Even after what happened, it was hard to leave behind all the wonderful friends I made, and a country I grew to love."
Born in Belleville, New Jersey, and raised in Fargo, North Dakota, Roxana holds bachelor's degrees in communications and French from Concordia College in Minnesota, as well as master's degrees in broadcast journalism from Northwestern University and in international relations from the University of Cambridge. She has reported for ABC Radio, the BBC, Feature Story News, Fox News, NPR, and PRI. Roxana moved to Iran in 2003, and currently lives in North Dakota. Even before Roxana delved into her career as a full-time journalist, she was crowned Miss North Dakota in 1997, and was among the top 10 finalists in Miss America 1998, in which she won the Scholar Award. Besides being a journalist and former beauty queen, Roxana is also a trained pianist and soccer player.
Charges of Espionage
From Miss North Dakota to activist Amidst the media chaos that surrounded her arrest, for many viewers who tuned into news channels flashing a stern-looking mug shot of Roxana, this was not the first time they were setting eyes on the journalist. They were already familiar with Roxana as an exoticlooking (a token of her Iranian-Japanese heritage) former beauty queen, with a gift for playing the piano. At age 20, Roxana was crowned Miss North Dakota and was among the top 10 Miss America finalists. “My dream was to become a news correspondent in a French-speaking country, since I had majored in French and Communications. But before I could get into journalism, I took a little detour when the organiser of the Miss Fargo pageant called me, and said: ‘Roxana, we want to put on this local pageant, but we have only three contestants, and we need at least four!’ And I thought about it for a second, and said ‘No! I can’t even walk in high heels!’” Then what changed her mind? “My Mom told me that a talent competition is a part of the pageant. I had just quit my piano lessons the year before, she thought that if I took part in this it would be a great way to practice my piano skills. Encouraged by her, I took part, and somehow I became Miss Fargo, and then somehow I became Miss North
later, a total of 100 days in various prison cells. "When I was taken away from my apartment in Iran, none of my neighbours saw me being taken. The building caretaker who always used to be around every day, in the hallway or in the yard, wasn't around that day," she recalled. Behind the walls of Evin, a tall looming edifice at the foot of the lush heights of Alborz Mountains, Roxana was kept in Section 209 – which is controlled by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry and known to house political prisoners including student activists, women's rights activists, journalists, and web bloggers – where she was continuously interrogated and coerced to videotape a false confession. "I knew that in 2003, an Iranian-Canadian journalist named Zahra Kazemi was detained there for 19 days and then she died mysteriously, and no one could ever tell the cause of her death. So of course, when I was taken to this prison, I was very afraid," she says. "The first few days, I was in denial. But then, I was just determined to find a way to get out of there."
Roxana, aged 14, at her school in Japan Dakota, and for this whole process I got scholarship money to do my masters at Northwestern for Journalism.” "Being falsely accused and detained in my own country has made me reflect a lot more on human rights. Earlier, I sometimes reported on issues of human rights or wrote about them, but never really thought about it, until I was deprived of my own rights," she says. "I realised that universal human rights like freedom of speech and expression, the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a fair and public trial are what people want, no matter where they were in the world, regardless of what their background, nationality, religion, political affiliation, or ideology." Forced out of her home by four unknown men in January 2009, Roxana was whisked off to Evin where she spent her first several days in confinement, and
Having spent six years reporting in Iran while conducting research for a book on Iranian culture and society, Roxana thought she had made only friends in her paternal homeland. However, little did she know that she had also gained the enmity of the Iranian Intelligence, who believed that she was a spy for the United States, conspiring against Iranian political and social values, and mainly, the Islamic regime. "It was after my arrest, that I learned that I had been followed for years, and my telephone calls, emails, and virtually every step was monitored by the Iranian Intelligence." "They insisted that my book was a cover for espionage for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the United States and that there was no way I could have been interviewing all these people for a book. I argued that I only wanted to show the diversity of Iranian society to outsiders and this was a personally funded project," she recalls.
Angels in Evin In prison, Roxana drew her strength and courage from her fellow cellmates. In fact, she dedicates an entire section of her memoir to the 'Angels in Evin'. "The Iranian authorities often threaten not only the prisoners but their families too. Under fear and pressure, when I gave a false confession I felt that I basically fell to my lowest point but then I pulled myself up again through a renewed sense of faith and the inspiration that I got from many of my fellow female prisoners, who were standing up for their basic 2010 October
human rights and principles, no matter what the cost," she says. In return for her cellmates’ moral support, Roxana took pleasure in teaching them English. “We would have discussions about various topics, spirituality, current events and so on. And also, they wanted me to teach them English, so we would practice and they would want to learn vocabulary for shopping, for travelling, but because I was a little mischievous, I taught them some curse words too!”
The Women of Iran According to Roxana, women in Iran are very diverse, but face restrictions because of the laws pertaining to them and the patriarchal mentalities that still exist in Iranian society. However, many Iranian women have been paving their way through society as they continue to arm themselves with education. "Many women have also been making a lot of progress, in society, in education, in the workplace, and even politics. They have become more and more active in the recent past, and about 65 percent of university admissions are now women," she says, stressing the impact this would have on the future of women's rights and democracy, because, "many younger women have been moving from smaller towns to big cities to get an education and are being exposed to new ideas there." Compared to other countries in the Middle East, Iranian women are ahead in some ways and behind in others, she says. While there are obstacles in the way of equal rights, she asserts that most women in Iran are brave and aggressively stand up for their rights. "Iranian women are activists. They organise grassroots efforts to try to improve their lot, like the one million signatures campaign which called for changes in laws that were not fair towards women, although many of those campaigners have been pressured, arrested, and some have even left the country," she points out. "There are some very courageous women in Iran including my cellmates who were, to me, the best examples of Iranian women that I have ever met." Like many conservative societies, segregation of public spheres is prevalent in Iran as well. For example, the rules of segregated buses demand that men sit in the front section of the bus while women sit at the back. However, many women, including Roxana, find the all women's sections more comfortable as they allow women to bond with each other over a ride to school or work. "Most buses are segregated, but in Iranian metro you can choose to sit in the all men's or all women's cars, which are actually more comfortable. A couple
Roxana, aged 6, and her brother Jasper Saberi
Roxana at a pageant
of times, because I had to make a dash to catch the metro, I even sat in the all men's section to avoid missing the train! And the men would always vacate their seats for me," she reminisces. But do women in Iran prefer segregation? Roxana feels it is difficult to generalise. "Some women prefer the segregation, some don't. But what I feel is common among Iranian women, whether they are conservative or liberal, traditional or modernised, or not, they all want progress – but they just have different definitions of it, and maybe they can't agree on the ways to reach those goals," she deliberates. "For instance, some think means of force to crackdown on 'bad hijab', or a not properly worn headscarf, is alright," she explained. Apparently, the generation gap within the female population is not a major factor in how women in Iran perceive the teachings and rituals of the Islamic Republic. As Roxana explains, "The older generation is not the only one advocating force, younger women do too, but I really think it is a minority that vouches for force as opposed to choice."
wonderful therapy! Right now, I am fortunate to do what I’m doing, so I feel that I have found some inner peace.” When asked what became of the book that landed Roxana in her captors' hands, she said, "I would like to finish my book which I started before Between Two Worlds. I actually started that project at the end of 2006, and I hope I can still finish it since I did do a lot of interviews and research for it. I really hope that people will find it informative. But this book was a little timelier. In Between Two Worlds, I just wanted to write fairly, and what I thought was best, without caring about what anyone thought," she said. An active Twitter user, Roxana regularly updates the world on human rights issues and interacts with those who support her via social networking. She also believes that social networking played a huge role in her own release, since people from all over the world joined hands over the internet to support her cause. "I am grateful for the international support from people and organisations around the world, including the Doha Center for Media Freedom. Social media played a huge role – the news of my capture, and then my subsequent hunger strike went viral through a lot of online support groups," she said. In addition to raising awareness about human rights violations, she has also been promoting No One Knows About Persian Cats (2009), a film venture she co-wrote with Iranian film director Bahman Ghobadi. "No One Knows About Persian Cats is a film documentary about underground music in Iran, it is the story of a young man and woman who want to be able to perform their music publicly but because of the type of music it is, Indie rock, the government does not give them the permit to put on a concert or release an album." "Other than that, advocating human rights and dignity around the world through my talks and activism is what is in the pipeline for me, for a long time to come"
life after iran When Roxana left Iran with her parents to return to her home in North Dakota, she knew easing back into her normal routine would not be easy. But the writer in her enabled her to revisit the challenges she had already overcome and pen her memoir. For her, the writing in itself became a healing process. “In Between Two Worlds, I just wanted to write fairly, and what I thought was best, without caring about what anyone thought. It was liberating,” she says. “I know a lot of political prisoners who have to leave Iran and go to a new country, leaving behind the familiar; it’s more difficult than it was for me going back to the States. This summer, following her whirlwind schedule, she took it easy. “I got a little break, and did nothing. That was
Fashion for a cause
The Pink Ribb
Elizabeth Hurley, Spokesmodel for EstĂ¨e Lauder and the BCA Campaign
“Survival rates are rising, and each year we get closer and closer to a cure for this disease.”
y October 2010, Estèe Lauder’s Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) Campaign and its retail partners will have raised $45 million since 1993 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). This year, the BCA Campaign has a new and provocative theme: “Connect. Communicate. Conquer. Prevent Breast Cancer One Woman At A Time. The Pink Ribbon. Wear It. Share It.” The mission was set in motion by Evelyn H Lauder, Senior Corporate Vice President of the Estèe Lauder Companies, when she co-created the Pink Ribbon and launched the BCA Campaign in 1992. The provocative and inspiring campaign was conceived by James Gager, Senior Vice President, Creative Director of MAC and Toni Lakis, Vice President of MAC Design. This year’s BCA Campaign theme draws its inspiration from the Estèe Lauder Companies’ heritage, which dates back to 1946 when Estèe Lauder’s ‘High-Touch’ method of reaching consumers was “Telephone, Telegraph, Tell-A-Woman.” Evelyn's approach to conquering breast cancer reinterprets this powerful messaging into a philanthropic mission for today’s modern and fast-paced culture. “When I launched The Estèe Lauder Companies’ BCA Campaign in 1992, breast cancer was only spoken about in whispers,” says Evelyn. “Eighteen years later, countless survivors, supporters, politicians and celebrities have joined us in our mission. Major strides actually have been made, though we still have a long way to go. We continue to make a real difference, and through our combined efforts of raising awareness and raising funds for research, breast cancer will become a distant memory.” Elizabeth Hurley, Spokesmodel for Estèe Lauder and the BCA Campaign, in an interview with Woman Today talks about her involvement with the cause.
Top: At the Bloomingdales illumination 2009 Right: With Evelyn Lauder at Bloomingdales 2009 What is your role with the EstÈe Lauder’s campaign? When did your involvement begin?
It began just after I started as an Estèe Lauder model 15 years ago, Evelyn asked me to help her with it. Each October, I join Evelyn and travel around the world raising awareness for breast health and funds for breast cancer research. We’ve visited many US cities, as well as the UK, Ireland, Amsterdam, Australia, France, India and Italy, reaching more than two billion people each year with our awareness message. We spend time at numerous retailers, meeting as many people as possible and telling them that if breast cancer is detected early, it’s 98 percent curable. The BCA Campaign gives away millions of Pink Ribbons each year as a reminder about the importance of breast health. By the end of October 2010, we will have given away close to 110 million Pink Ribbons worldwide. We also sell our Pink Ribbon products, which are all wonderful products, and the best part is that they benefit the BCRF. 2010 marks the 11th Anniversary of our Global Landmark Illumination Initiative that began in 2000 with the illumination of a handful of landmarks. Today, we illuminate over 200 landmarks each year, including the Tower of London in the UK, John F Kennedy Air-
port and Los Angeles International Airport in the USA, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel in Mumbai, the Concert Hall in Amsterdam and the Tokyo Tower in Japan, among many others. Our main goal in this initiative is to inspire women all over the world to have their breasts checked regularly and to get a mammogram every year if over the age of 40. It’s wonderful to see an idea that started with a handful of illuminations in 2000 has now grown to more than 200 illuminations around the world each year. What makes this year’s campaign different from past years?
With this year's BCA Campaign theme, we want people across the globe to connect and communicate with everyone they know about the importance of breast health and early detection in order to conquer this disease once and for all. We must unite together with the message that early 2010 October
“...breast cancer if detected early is 98% curable ...it is important to tell every woman to see their doctors regularly and get a mammogram every year if over the age of 40.”
At the Pink Event UK, London, City Hall 2009 detection saves lives. In 2010, more than 70 countries will be participating in The BCA Campaign with the goal of reaching billions and letting men and women know that if breast cancer is detected early, it’s 98 percent curable. Now more than ever it is important to get the message out and tell every woman to see their doctors regularly and get a mammogram every year if over the age of 40. Survival rates are rising, and each year we get closer and closer to a cure for this disease. As I state in my public service announcement, ‘Join us. You can make a difference in your life and in the lives of those important to you.’ How important is this at a personal level?
When Evelyn asked me to join her, my grandmother had recently died of breast cancer, so it was a cause very close to my heart. This is a disease that knows no boundaries and does not discriminate, touching everyone in every country. We all know someone – a grandmother, friend, mother, aunt, sister, cousin or co-worker – who has battled cancer. What is one of the best parts of being a
spokesperson for the EstÈe Lauder campaign?
It’s very moving for us when we visit different cities around the world and meet so many people who have been affected by breast cancer in one way or another. Often it will be women who have breast cancer, or have had breast cancer, or have family members who have either survived breast cancer or sadly have not survived breast cancer. Sometimes men are also in line, and when this happens, there is a very good chance that their mother, wife or girlfriend has been stricken by the disease. It is very powerful to meet these people and see firsthand their inner strength. It makes us realise over and over again that our goal for reaching as many people with our awareness message and raising as much money as possible to find a cure is helping, and at some point this will be a thing of the past. What is it like working with Evelyn?
Evelyn is one of the most inspirational and motivating women I have ever met. She has an amazing energy and a work ethic like I’ve never seen. But most importantly, she’s a very kind and giving person and friend.
We travel around the world and she seems to know everyone who works at the Estèe Lauder counter! It is wonderful for me to be working so closely with someone like Evelyn, who is tireless and fearless in her fight to eradicate this disease and help find a cure. What is your involvement with the BCRF?
Every spring, Evelyn hosts an annual gala in New York City for the BCRF, a not-for-profit organisation that she founded in 1993 to fund innovative clinical and translational research. At the gala, I serve as Mistress of Ceremonies, and Sir Elton John is always involved with the event. The April 2010 gala was called ‘Sweet Sixteen at The Hot Pink Party’ and featured a special solo performance by Sir Elton John, celebrating a decade of his incredible support of BCRF and this event. It was a beautiful evening that raised significant funds for BCRF. I was incredibly honoured and humbled to receive BCRF’s Humanitarian Award in October 2009. BCRF is an organisation that is truly making a difference through the strong commitment of their more than 173 researchers around the world who are determined to find a cure for this disease in the not too distant future
Painting the town PINK....
Around the world and in Qatar, organisations and individuals come together to spread awareness on early detection of breast cancer. A look at some interesting moves.
Young minds in action... Two students from Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) – Thouria Mahmoud and Zainab Sultan – produced a documentary on breast cancer which was screened at the university to a public audience. Their work titled Breast Cancer: Overcoming Cultural Boundaries talks about the lives of women affected with the disease in Qatar, and focuses beyond the physical impact of the disease. NU-Q also hosted the the Middle East premiere of In the Family, a documentary about a young woman fighting breast cancer, by award-winning documentary filmmaker Joanna Rudnick. The film explores the life-saving potential of genetic testing in the battle against breast cancer, and the response of different communities to the disease. Joanna believes, “It is a particularly interesting time to be showing the film in Qatar. I think Qatari women can set a powerful example for breast cancer by leading the effort.”
What’s the colour? Earlier this year,
Breast cancer on screen...
Two movies have been produced which had a plot revolving around the lives of cancer-struck women. My Breast (1994) recounted the experience of a woman who had to make a difficult choice between mastectomy and lumpectomy, while her relationship with her lover faces turmoil. Why I wore lipstick to my mastectomy (2006) was yet another gripping story about a woman’s fight with the disease.
Facebook had started a new stint of posting your bra colour on the status message in an attempt to raise awareness in an unusual manner. Many were left wondering about the mystery behind the colour status, but the message did get through, albeit in a fun and irreverent way.
Fashion for all...
Fashion Targets Breast Cancer (FTBC) is a fundraising campaign from UK charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer (BTC) established by Ralph Lauren. Kylie Minogue, Sienna Miller and Claudia Schiffer posed wrapped in black and white silk sheet, with the FTBC logo as part of media campaign which aims to raise more than £1 million (QR5.5 million) for BTC.
The pink web...
Imagine all sites you surf turn pink for a month! Don’t be bewildered. This was exactly the intention of ‘Pink for October’ campaign on the world-wide-web. Websites will go pink during the month of October to bring attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, get people talking about breast cancer, and raise money for research. In the campaign’s first year (2006) itself, 1500 sites went pink!
Beauty with a scar...
Supporting TPQ, was the launch of the Secrets 974 spa. The spa’s mission was to make the lives of breast cancerstricken patients beautiful, literally! The salon held a free makeover day earlier this year for those fighting the disease and the survivors. TPQ founder, Karen Al-Kharouf said, “Secrets 974 is about celebrating a woman’s beauty and the spa will work closely with us to raise breast cancer awareness and help turn the agony of the situation to something beautiful.”
In 2000, the Breast Cancer Fund (BCF) launched a new advertising campaign which had professional models with super-imposed breast removal scars. These ads were a rip-off of popular magazine ads.
An organisation which has been in the media limelight for its awareness campaigns is the ‘Think Pink Qatar’(TPQ). Since its establishment in 2006, the group has been actively involved in organising a variety of events to encourage women to emerge from their cocoons.
This provocative ad campaign to increase public involvement in breast cancer issue was justified by BCF organisation: “The ads challenge the obsession with the female breast as an object in the belief that until our culture more appropriately honours women and their bodies, we will never defeat a disease that attacks its most profound symbol of sexuality and nurture.”
An annual event of TPQ has been the ‘Walk of Life – Breast Cancer’ in the month of October at Doha Corniche, where volunteers in their pink tees, do their bit to support breast cancer patients. This year though, TPQ is stressing on the fact that men too are victims of breast cancer and should be aware of its warning signs. 2010 October
No Less A Woman! No More A
enin is not the sort of guy one would turn to for an inspirational ‘pick-meup’ line. But here’s a surprise, the man actually said, “The most important thing in illness is never to lose heart.” Talk to anyone who has been seriously ill though, and they will tell you that this is easier said than done. Even those of us who have been blessed by not having to suffer anything worse than a regular bout of seasonal flu will admit, when we get ill the first thing that takes a nose dive is our mood! So if by some unfortunate chance we are struck down with a prolonged illness and a miserable prognosis, it isn’t surprising that our mood gets worse till it eventually affects our self-esteem. There are few things in life that can be more depressing than to be told you have been diagnosed with cancer. Cancer of any kind is devastating, not just to the person diagnosed with it but also to family and friends. The statistics people keep telling us over and over again that breast cancer is the single most common nonskin type cancer suffered by women. It has been estimated that in 2010 1.5 million women worldwide will be diagnosed with breast cancer. That alone is enough cause to feel low. Breast cancer and self-esteem have always had a complicated relationship, because with breast cancer it’s not just about being sick, it is also about losing a sense of who you are. Take a look at the term ‘self-esteem.’ Not only is it hackneyed and overused, but it is also an abused term. If someone thinks too little of themselves, the gurus will be quick to diagnose: low self-esteem. Unfortunately, if someone thinks a little too much of themselves, that might be
By Nadira Mendis Amarasinghe
explained away as high self-esteem. But what really is self-esteem? In psychology, self-esteem is a term used to reflect a person’s evaluation of their own worth. Self-esteem encompasses both beliefs and emotions. So stripped down to its bare essence, self-esteem is all about whether you think you are good enough. So why is our self-esteem affected by prolonged illness? The insidious thing about illness is that it has a way of entering our lives and challenging our feelings of worth. The fact that we get stared at, get treated differently, and need to be helped to do certain things makes us feel like the balance has suddenly shifted, making us less powerful somehow, less able and more than anything less, less normal. Strange as it is, we women have a complex yet close relationship with our breasts: we love them and hate them at the same time. For us, breasts are a symbol of our femininity, of our sexuality. Remember what it felt like being a pre-teen and waiting excitedly for the day you would get your first bra? Remember worrying about whether you were “too big or too little” on top? Remember the rush of nursing your new born but at the same time of having this niggling thought about the possibility that breastfeeding was ruining your figure or worrying that you aren’t a good mother because you didn’t take to breastfeeding as naturally as your friends did? We are an odd bunch aren’t we? It might surprise the men in this world to realise that we women do worry about our breasts a lot! So when one of us gets diagnosed with something as severe as breast cancer it is a double whammy. Not only is it cancer, it is breast cancer that is invading a part of our bod-
The insidious thing about illness is that it has a way of entering our lives and challenging our feelings of worth. ies that we as women are quite attached to. Breast cancer doesn’t just attack our breast tissue it attacks our body image as well. Whether a woman diagnosed with cancer manages to save her breasts, has them removed or has them reconstructed, it is a difficult process to learn to accept and love a post-diagnosis body. We might feel like our body has betrayed us, or that the loss of one or both breasts is a death sentence on our femininity. Breast cancer doesn’t just lead to mastectomy scars, but radiation can lead to soreness and redness, and chemotherapy can lead to hair loss and weight gain. There can be additional challenges to cope with over and above the fact that we are ill. Counsellors working with those affected say it is quite normal for women diagnosed with breast cancer to start dressing and undressing alone or in the dark, to start avoiding intimacy and limit bathing
time to the bare minimum, just to avoid having to see their bodies looking so different to them. Experts suggest that the first step in fighting back is to realise that it is our bodies that have become victims to the cancer, and not us. At times our negative thoughts can become as potent and as destructive as the illness that has befallen us. So counsellors encourage us to remember that we don’t need to allow our entire being, our minds or the very essence of who we are to be victimised. Our physicians can only help us battle cancer, but we need to be the ones who will take up the fight to battle negative thoughts and the low self-esteem that arise out of our illness. While negative feelings are normal there is no reason to wallow in them and further victimise ourselves. Here are some tips from experts that can help a woman regain her feeling of self-worth and restore her selfesteem. * Talk to experts. Discuss the tough stuff – There are many doctors, including gynaecologists and physicians specialising in sexual issues related to cancer treatment, who are informed and available to talk through self-esteem concerns that arise during breast cancer treatment. Women have many concerns during and after breast cancer treatment, including worries about changes in their bodies and worries about their sexual performance or functioning. * Talk to other women with breast cancer and identify a role model – Seek the advice of other women who have gone through breast cancer treatment and have dealt with some of the same self-esteem concerns. Don’t underestimate the power of a positive role model. Simply seeing a beautiful, competent, confident woman, who has gone through breast cancer treatment can be a very positive and affirming experience for a women who is battling the disease. * Make use of all available resources – There are useful adaptations and coping skills that sometimes include the use of medication or just simply thinking through what you will wear, learn about these. Read up on them and start incorporating them into your life. * Remember it’s ok to feel low
Experts suggest that the first step in fighting back is to realise that it is our bodies that have become victims to the cancer, and not us. sometimes – As far as keeping a positive outlook during treatment, if you have days when your mood is down or low, it won’t affect your chance of survival. However, if you do become so discouraged that it affects your compliance with your doctor’s treatment recommendations, this may start to affect your outcome. * Try not to stress too much – Many women wonder if stress caused their cancer. There is no evidence that supports the theory that stress or low mood causes cancer. However, stress is not good for anyone. It is important to try to manage your stress while going through breast cancer treatment. * Be responsible – Once you complete treatment you will still have periodic checkups and testing with your doctor for the rest of your life, so be responsible and keep these appointments so that you can feel good about doing whatever it takes to stay well. * Indulge yourself regularly – Don’t stop engaging in those same activities that made you feel good before your diagnosis. Have your hair done, get a manicure, shop for shoes. Spoil yourself every now and then. You are a beautiful person who deserves beautiful things. * Exercise – Exercise helps boost mood even in normal circumstances so it will be even more beneficial now. Husbands and partners play a big role in how women learn to deal with and accept the change in their body image. They need to be loving and supportive about a woman’s changing body image. Expressing acceptance and encouragement when a woman makes changes in wardrobe, hairstyle, or even diet and exercise can help her make the transition from a pre-cancer to a post-cancer
body. One study found that sex therapy and couples counselling improved self-esteem among women with cancer. One expert advises husbands to listen with both ears to their wives talk about how they feel about themselves. Husbands cannot intuitively know how their wives feel about their changing body image, about their fear of losing their femininity and their sexuality; so listen and listen well. Another thing husbands can do is show affection physically. Women need to be reassured that their post-diagnosis body is still attractive to their husbands, so hugging, kissing, or even simple hand holding are ways to physically show a woman that they are still wanted and attractive. Prolonged illness especially something as terrifying as cancer takes its toll not only on the person suffering from it, but on those around them too. It can be hard on family and friends to watch someone they care about be ill, and seeing them feel so low about themselves just adds to the ordeal. But by helping the person deal with negative feelings, by boosting and uplifting the person’s view of themselves it is possible to ease their mental suffering which will eventually help them feel positive about themselves and their illness so that they have more energy to put into making themselves well again. Whether you have been diagnosed with breast cancer already, you are awaiting test results, you have a history of breast cancer in your family and you live in fear that you may have it too, remember, it is an illness. It may invade our body, but it cannot invade our mind unless we allow it to. We shouldn’t just do what we have to do to fight it physically, we should go on the attack mentally too. Seek the support of those who love us, and stay positive. Above all remember, breast cancer doesn’t change the fact that we are women and beautiful no matter what!
Survivor tyles By Hillary Kozma
reast cancer. Most of us know someone who has been affected, and unfortunately some of us have even been diagnosed with it ourselves. As women, we tend to take our hair for granted. We love it, we complain about it, we pamper it, we fight it, we laugh about it, we talk about it, we spend our hard-earned money on it. However, we take for granted the fact that we have it! So, what happens when we are forced to lose it? Men lose their hair and are considered attractively
bald. Hair loss for men is accepted in society. But, what happens when a women loses her crowning glory to cancer? And, how does she deal with her hair loss while she is busy fighting for her life? Breast cancer is indiscriminate of age, gender, race, economic status, religion, culture, or education level. However, all Breast Cancer survivors have one thing in common: they are champions. A few of these champions happen to be in the Hollywood limelight, and their style and strength while fighting their disease can be an inspiration to us all.
Kylie Minogue After a diagnosis of breast cancer, this gorgeous Australian singer lost her hair during her chemotherapy treatments a few years ago. She kept her sense of fashion, and covered her head with beautiful, bright scarves. Losing your hair can damage your self-confidence and body image. This songbird was known pre-cancer for her long, luscious hair. However, Kylie didn’t let the hair loss get her down. In fact, she continued to maintain her glam appearance while she was out in public. She still got dolled up, put on make-up, and continued to rock the fashion scene. During her recovery, her hair started to make a reappearance. She wore it quite cropped until she could get a little strength back into it. Chemotherapy can effect re-growth, and hair can grow back as a completely different texture than the original hair before hair loss. Kylie’s once wavy hair came back in very tight curls! Instead of fighting the curls, she showed them off in a variety of different haircuts and styles. Then, as Kylie grew it out, she added extensions for fullness, and even experimented with some pretty wigs and hair pieces. Five years after she was declared clear, she (and her hair) are back and better than ever!
Early detection was a saver of Christina’s young life. After the Samantha Who? actress was diagnosed at the age of just 36, a double mastectomy was immediately scheduled. Although just one breast needed to be removed, she had made the tough decision to remove both. Despite her heartache, Christina joked: “I’ll never have to wear a bra again!” Having a great sense of humour like Christina is important. Laughing has been proven to be a major healer and stress reducer. Having cancer will be a pretty emotional and stressful time for a woman. It hits you when you least expect it and it’s a pretty scary thing to suffer through. Stress will not only show up in the body, but also in the hair. Hair is always a great indicator of what is going on internally. Being ill, fighting a disease, undergoing medical procedures, taking medications, vitamin deficiencies, going through a major change, having your life out of balance, being emotionally stressed – all of these things will be reflected in our hair and scalp. Christina recognised this, and fought her cancer with laughter, a routine of stress reduction, and tried to restore balance back into her life. Her hair, as a result looks healthy, vibrant and stunning.
This multi-Grammy-winning woman has an incredible voice. And recently, just survived an incredible journey. Soon after breaking up with long-term beau Lance Armstrong, Sheryl was diagnosed with breast cancer, and required invasive surgery and radiation treatment. Sheryl refused to let the disease define her, control her, or slow her down. She even adopted a baby towards the end of her cancer treatment! This happy new Mom was busy during her cancer fight,
Once she had made her devastating discovery of breast cancer, Maura was scared. Scared of being ill, scared what may happen to her career, and of course, scared for her life. One thing that this ER star was not scared about was losing her hair. She quickly accepted that her chemo treatments would cause her hair to fall out, and prepared. She had her long hair cut shorter, to minimise the thinness, and eventually sported a very chic little pixie cut. As her hair texture and density changed, so did her style. She must have transitioned through about a dozen different short
to say the least. She was working on recording her new album – Detours, and preparing to take home her baby. Heaven knows where she found the time (or the energy) to keep up that kind of schedule, but also amazing was her commitment to staying stylish during her cancer fight. This cool rocker has always looks Bo-ho Chic. Following that theme, she can always be seen wearing her hair in her signature style of beautiful long, luxurious, loose waves . During cancer, this was no exception. The strength and determination she felt on the inside, did wonders for her on the outside. Her hair may have not been the exact same as it was pre-cancer, but she did the best she could, nonetheless. She did her best to maintain the hair that she is famous for. Sheryl is a great inspiration to women fighting cancer everywhere. She went through a terrible time, but she survived. She did it with her own style, staying true to herself. And now she is a better person because of it. Looks like she took the advice of her own song 'Diamond Road', the lyrics which say: 'Don’t miss the diamonds along the way. Every road has led us here today.' 'Life is what happens while you’re making plans. All that you need is right here in your hands.'
hairstyles, which is great! One thing that is important during hair loss is to be able to transition between many styles, in a short amount of time. Some ladies just shave their hair off! Others will wear it quite short. Women’s hair may come back different because of the root’s reaction to chemo, so hair will need special attention according to what the individual is experiencing. Hair growing back may come in a bit fuzzy, fine and soft at first. Much like a baby duckling’s fur. Hair this soft can be a little hard to style, so the focus should be on getting it healthy and strong. It might also come back kinky, curly, frizzy, or course. It may also be different from the natural hair colour at first. This is due to the loss or change of pigment and may result in white, gray, or some colour different than your natural hair colour. As your body recovers and hair pigment rebounds, your hair may return to its original colour, or a colour close to your pre-chemo hair. Hair will need time to recover as toxins leave the body. Frequent trims can really help during this phase to ease back into having a style, and encourage it to grow strong. Pixie cuts are very feminine, and stylish, and come in a wide variety of different shapes. With the right cut, it can really be worn in many different ways. A great hair stylist can customise this haircut for a look that celebrates and compliments any survivor. Maura sure did get it right!
Cynthia Nixon Best known for her character Miranda on HBO’s Sex and the City, Cynthia Nixon recently battled breast cancer. Cynthia was diagnosed during a routine mammogram. Fortunately, it was caught early enough that chemotherapy was not needed. However, she did have to undergo six-and-a -half-weeks of radiation treatment with an additional treatment of powerful drugs. Not only can this take a toll on your body, it can also wreck havoc on your hair. Hair may feel dry, brittle and lack the usual lustre it once had. Cancer fighting medications are meant to target and destroy cancer cells, but the side-effects of these drugs can really be felt and seen in the hair as well. A natural blonde, Cynthia has been colouring her hair a vivacious red to play her character Miranda. During her recovery, Cynthia paid special attention to her coloured hair to keep it looking as amazing as possible by shortening and re-shaping her style to give it more bounce, and really giving it some shine with deep conditioning treatments, and glossing products. Now fully recovered, she has come through to the other side with style and grace.
The author is the owner and master stylist at Glow American Salon & Spa. Call her at these numbers: Salon +974 44689945, Salon Mobile +974 66864221, Hillary +974 66864220 Location: Near Mercedes Show Room, Villa #10 Email: www.glowamericansalon.com 2010 October
f e e o h T rt ap A c
To where doesn’t matter, but with whom does. Vani Saraswathi sought an escape with her girlfriends of 20 years, and highly recommends you to find a reason to steal time for yourself.
much s a , t r o f is an ef . You can take p i h s d “Frien investment fter a a d e n t a n as it’s hips for gra riend.” f s e d h t n e i r fr ut neve b , e il h w
early a score years ago, five gawky teens met at college. They taught each other how to grow up: Through bad scores and surprisingly good results; reality checks on ambitions and realised dreams; infatuations, unrequited love and poor choices; good hair days and bad; desperate attempts at being fashionable and settling for being passable, if not cool; sneaking out of college earlier, and into homes later than permitted; being each other’s worst influences and best friends. And within the oddly numbered five, finding our own specials bonds. Since then we have made many new and even a few closer friends, but for me personally, that group is a unique one. That was the first of the only two instances where I’ve been comfortable in ‘group friendships’ – I prefer being a wolf, and don’t bond particularly well in packs. As I work to send editions to press, I can’t help but steal minutes to browse the album of photos on my laptop ever so often. The ones taken just a month earlier, when the five of us decided to have a long weekend out in a remote part of my home state back in India. A trip we planned over the last six months, synchronising dates across continents. For much of the last decade-and-ahalf we have lived in five different countries. We lead vastly different lives and have a new circle of friends. One runs her own business, the least academically-inclined of us has acquired a career, even while the most accomplished revels in her homemaker role.
“A day at the spa or diamond stud is not a bad idea, but to truly indulge yourself, spend time with a friend.” What happened?
Lots of loud, uninhibited laughter. Actually enjoying a 6 p.m. curfew – for fear of leopards after dark. Tonnes of food. The tea bungalow we stayed in had a fantastic cook. A sore index finger after all the picture clicking. Dressing up. Yes, we did. We changed twice a day, and dressed up for dinner. Even if our audience comprised just the ageing caretaker, cook and boy around the house. We were much cooler about our quirks than we were 20 years ago – we laughed away the snores, belches, farts and a certain person’s rigid yoga routine. We have learnt to be kinder about our vices and modest about our virtues. There were moments that we almost bored ourselves to tears by talking about our kids. There was no hint of competition or jealousy – we have finally found our comfort zones, I guess. Realised that age does spiritualise people – even the irreligious. Gossip too, does get juicier with age. And after two mentions of age, I must mention, we were calling people many years younger to us ‘old’, because that’s how young and refreshed we felt.
As I was planning the trip many of my other (not at all envious!) friends wondered how I would be allowed by my daughters, husband, sisters and parents to take time out of a family vacation for a jaunt such as this. I gently reminded them I don’t seek permission, but only inform (even if I was hit by more than a good dose of guilt at leaving my 18-month-old behind.) But there was one little person who was more than just informed – she was involved in it. My soon-turning-nine firstborn. I wanted her to know what a precious thing friendship is. I explained how important it was for her mother to have that time with her friends. It saddens me when I look around and see grown women – especially the married ones – who settle for friends that the spouse and kids have brought into their lives. Who is there for them to share a moment from a painful teen year or a sad breakup or a film you wouldn’t be caught dead watching now? Who is there to remind them of a time when the biggest worry in life was the zit on the forehead and a perpetually empty wallet? To that end, social networking sites have their uses – to help re-establish those links. But at the cost of sounding arrogant, though all five of us are rather active online creatures, we rarely do connect with each other through these forums. Friendship is an effort, as much as it’s an investment. You can take friendships for granted after a while, but never the friend. Neither can you press accept and make a friend out of a stranger or
Not that it matters. But we found our little piece of heaven in Southern India, in a bungalow deep inside a forested tea estate. Vaalpaarai is about three hours uphill (42 hairpin bends et al) from Coimbatore, which itself is an overnight journey from the metropolis of Chennai. The breathtakingly beautiful mountain route is dotted with waterfalls and two magnificent dams. Apart from monkey menace and threats of leopard attack, it’s a safe place for women travelling alone. acaquaintance. The intention of the piece is not merely to reminiscence; neither is it to boast and pontificate. It’s to suggest. YOU – outside of being a mother, wife or daughter – need to invest in yourself. A day at the spa or a diamond stud is not a bad idea, but to truly indulge yourself, spend time with a friend. Not all of us have the liberty or resources to make long escapes, but we definitely do deserve a day or an evening on a regular basis; with someone who is YOUR friend, not your son’s best friend’s mum or your husband’s boss’s wife. Did the three days away make us closer? I can’t answer for the rest, but for me it didn’t so much establish equations as it reminded me to cherish what I have. But it was a lot of catching up, even though we’ve been quite tuned into each other’s lives. Our next target is a cruise 2013-2014, when we hit 40! What are you waiting for? Get planning...
snack attack By Nicole Van Hattem
"The world belongs to those with the most energy" Alexis de Tocqueville
here's no denying that everyone, at one time or another, has had a snack attack. Views on snacking differ. Some feel that snacking is bad and that eating between meals leads to weight gain. Others believe that eating many small meals and snacks throughout the day is healthy for maintaining energy levels and optimal weight. If there were one way of snacking that was right for everyone, we would all be doing it! To alleviate snack attack guilt, try to understand why you are snacking and what snacks work best for your body. Perhaps you snack because your daily diet is missing nutrition, or because you are eating too little at meals. You might be snacking to soothe jangled nerves when you are emotional, or to entertain yourself when you are bored. Whatever your reason, acknowledge it and start thinking
about how to create a life that is nourishing and truly satisfying. Although snacks are no substitute for loving your life, they can be great energy boosters. Many convenient snack foods are highly processed and full of chemicals, additives, damaging fats and refined sugars. When a snack attack hits you, try foods that are filling and satisfying, but also nutritious.
Here are some tips: Snack on things that don't come in a plastic wrapper or a box, like fresh fruit, leftover vegetables or rice cakes with almond butter and fruit spread. Make your own signature trail mix, organic hot chocolate made with almond milk sweetened with agave nectar, or blue corn chips with hummus.
You can also try "upgrading": If you are craving something crunchy, upgrade from potato chips to raw carrots, apples or whole-grain crackers. If you are craving a candy bar, upgrade to a handful of nuts and dried fruit. Instead of a cup of coffee, upgrade to green tea. Instead of ice cream, upgrade to applesauce with cinnamon. Upgraded snacks are high in nutrition and give you a greater sense of satiety and satisfaction; you won't feel physically or psychologically deprived, and you'll have plenty of energy to sustain your activities for hours. Snacking is enjoyable and there is a wide variety of healthful goodies for whatever you're craving, be
Papayas: Tone the stomach, act as digestive aid, moisten the lungs and alleviate coughing; contain carpaine, an anti-tumour compound.
Raspberries: Benefit the liver and kidneys, cleanse blood of toxins, regulate menstrual cycles, treat anaemia and can promote labour at childbirth.
Apricots: Great for lung conditions and asthma; used to help treat anaemia due to their high copper and cobalt content.
Cherries: Slightly warming in nature; increase overall body energy, remedy arthritis and rheumatism and are rich in iron, which improves the blood.
Bananas: Help to lubricate the intestines, treat ulcers, detoxify the body and manage sugar cravings; are rich in potassium (which helps hypertension).
Grapefruits: Treat poor digestion, increase appetite during pregnancy, alleviate intestinal gas and reduce mucus conditions of the lungs.
it sweet, crunchy, salty, creamy or spicy. Dive in, be creative and enjoy your snack attack.
locally-grown fruit as opposed to imported fruits shipped from far-off places. This keeps you eating in season, and more in harmony with your environment and climate.
Free Initial Consultation
Food Focus: Fruit
This free 45 minute to one hour session includes a full discussion of your health history and health goals, a chance to get your questions answered and the opportunity to find out more about a personalised health programme, completely catered toward your busy lifestyle and needs. For a complimentary Health History consultation please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.artofabundantliving.com; Facebook Group "Art of Abundant Living"
A healthy lifestyle is the key to longevity, optimum weight, abundant energy and balance. By using fruit to satisfy our taste for sweetness, we can leave behind the use of chemical, processed and refined sweeteners. Fruits are easy to digest, are cleansing and cooling and are great for those who are overstressed and overheated from excessive mental strain or hot climates. Fruits are filled with fibre and liver stimulants, which act as natural, gentle laxatives. Whenever possible, buy fresh,
Recipe of the Month:
Fruit Nut Smoothie Prep time
1 banana 1 cup soy or rice milk 1 cup berries 1 cup diced melon 1/2 cup almonds 2-4 ice cubes
Eating raw fruit in summer months is highly cooling, while baking it in the winter months neutralises the cooling effect. Fruit in the form of juice is a great choice for cleansing the body, but be aware that juice rapidly raises blood sugar levels, leading to an energy crash soon after. Frozen, whole, pureed or juiced fruit can make great summertime cool-down treats. Try frozen grapes, banana-coconut smoothie popsicles or lime juice ice-cubes in iced tea! Whether you are having fresh fruit for a light early morning breakfast, a midday snack or evening treat, enjoy nature's sweetness and whenever possible buy organic. Above are a few summer fruits and their health benefits
Mix in blender for 1-2 minutes and serve. Note: You can add other ingredients for added nutrition such as a spoonful of bee pollen, coconut oil, flax seed oil, spirulina powder or a scoop of protein powder.
The writer is an Executive Wellness Coach and CoFounding Director of Art of Abundant Living. Her passion is to support people as they create their best life in abundance and balance. Art of Abundant Living provides Corporate Wellness Programs;, Executive and Career Coaching, Nutrition, Cooking and Lifestyle classes, and one-to-one wellness coaching that transforms lives.
a fit mind inside a fit body Moufida Cheikh, Female Physiotherapist at Aspetar Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, gives her time-tested stress busters
Basics that every woman can do on daily basis to improve efficiency and productivity at work. Follow a healthy diet Eliminate unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits Sleep early Wake up early
ith more and more women entering the workforce without relinquishing their traditional responsibilities and home making duties, it sometimes feels like we have to choose between fitness and being a domestic goddess. Moufida Cheikh, Female Physiotherapist at Aspetar Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital tells us why it’s important to work out and stay fit in our age of increasing stress and decreasing personal time. Stress in the work place affects the pulmonary and circulatory systems. Women are particularly vulnerable because of their hormones as these symptoms can cause early menopause and irregular periods. Stress affects women more than men because women have a tendency to be more emotionally-invested in their work. Women are also socially conditioned to be caregivers. They often put others’ needs ahead of their own emotional and physical needs. Hormonally, women are also at a disadvantage as they tend to produce higher levels of oxytocin. This hormone triggers, what scientists refer to as a 'tend-andbefriend' response. This further causes women to fall back on social support and care giving to cope with stress. While stress has its place in being motivating or productive, this can sometimes lead to anxiety, depression and tension. Research has shown that stress increases the risk of high blood pressure, asthma attacks, backaches and other medical problems. Women in the GCC region have additional challenges to contend with. Moufida counts Vitamin D deficiency, high cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle and arthritis of the knee as the most pressing cultural challenges affecting women’s health in Qatar and around the region. Culturally, the lifestyle of Qatari women, with relatively low exercise levels and poor eating and sleeping habits, negatively impacts their health and wellbeing as well. While work pressure can be a major contributor to stress, ironically, too much stress actually reduces productivity at work. Moufida said, “Stress prevents women from utilising up to 50 percent of their full capacity.” To counter stress, working out has been identi-
fied as having many proven benefits. To start with, working out is a great stress buster. “Sweating it out helps get rid of all the negative energy. If you exercise, even only for half an hour, you lose your feeling of lethargy. You also have the satisfaction of having done something for yourself after having spent the whole day doing things for others. Exercising is something you do for yourself to feel good about yourself and relax, and this small act of selfishness goes a long way in helping you relieve stress.”
Confidence reflects in body There are also other advantages to exercising. Moufida says, “A women confident in mind, will also be confident in the body. It reflects in her gait and the way she carries herself. Women who are free of stress also adopt a logical approach to problem solving and become more practical.” Given how a lack of time plays a key role in stress, it is important to adopt work out routines that cause the least disruption to your lifestyle. Moufida recommends, “Stretching before you sit down to work, walk even only for 15 minutes before or after work and use the stairs, if possible.” She also adds, doing more house chores instead of delegating everything to the maid is an easy way to get some form of exercise. ”Exercising vigorously for half an hour three times a week is enough.”
Leisure time is important How does one unwind after a particularly long day at work? It is important to plan your leisure and personal time in advance as it won’t happen on its own. It is also important to stay organised and prioritise work based on what’s most urgent rather than just being available on demand. Moufida says, “In addition to regular exercise, I recommend you take a hot bath, listen to music or read a book to get out of the work mood.” With the advent of modern amenities, more and more Qatari women are adapting their lifestyles to keep up with the change by eating healthy, exercising regularly and paying more attention to their overall wellbeing. As more and more working women are focusing on furthering their careers, they need to balance this by relieving the stress caused by their professional lives 2010 October
Pump it Up
summer has passed!
Are you feeling youâ€™ve done very little this summer? Ease yourself with these simple exercises prepared for you by the professionals at Six Senses Spa, Doha
Bent Over Row To prepare either kneel over a bench, or find something, even your coffee table to use as a support for one arm that will ultimately support the weight of the upper body. Grasp the dumbbell firmly, position the upper arm parallel to floor and begin to extend the arm backwards until straight. Continue with opposite arm. Ideally do a repetition of 12, swap arms and repeat twice.
Bar Squats Get a weighted bar and place it up and over your head and rest it firmly on the top of your shoulders, or where it feels most stable. Then, move your legs wide enough apart to form a solid base. From here, bend at the hips, keep your chest lifted and begin to lower the body taking care not to lower below parallel. Do this ten times, rest, and then repeat.
Shoulder to Triceps Hold the weight at your chest, making sure you have a solid grip. Keep the elbows at shoulder width at all times, and your forearms at 90 degrees to your biceps. Keeping this hold, raise the weight above your head. Slowly drop the weight down to the nape of your neck. Return to above your head, and then back down to your chest. Repeat this exercise 10 times, keeping a slow and controlled movement. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat two more sets.
Clean and Jerk Clean and jerk is normally associated with weightlifters, but here, weâ€™re doing nothing of the sort. We are however strengthening the posterior chain of muscles, and getting some extra toning for the arms. Grab your weighted bar again, move your legs apart to hip distance, and hold the bar with hands shoulder width apart. Keeping your back straight, bring the bar close to your chest then change the upper body position to upright. Once upright, raise the bar over your head. Then reverse the exercise until the bar is back at its lowest point. Repeat 8-10 times. Rest.
ands say a lot about a person. Whether it is your age, shown by age spots (darker pigmented areas) or by conducting a pinch test on the top of your hand â€“ the slower the skin returns to normal the less elasticity left in the skin. It could be how your hand is decorated, either by henna or jewellery; perhaps you are married or engaged? It may be the colour of your nail polish or whether itâ€™s chipped? Even the shape of your nails or whether your hands are dry and well-worked? Each of the above gives an insight into our personalities. It is said that it takes a person three minutes to judge another and sometimes these judgments are permanent. So when greeting a person and the first thing you do is to offer a handshake, surely this hand needs to be well taken care of?
For more smart tips on skin care, beauty, makeup and hair read the next edition of Woman Today. If you would like to have a professional skin analysis and consultation contact Qatar International Beauty Academy Tajmeel.
So here is how to do that: Ideally a manicure would be recommended at least every four weeks. During this treatment your hands will be nourished, keeping skin soft, your joints will be mobilised during a relaxing massage, and your nails will be preened to perfection. When caring for your hands in between treatments acetone free polish remover should be used to avoid drying out the nails, when filling the nails only file in one direction and not back and forth as this will weaken nails, emery boards should be used as opposed to metal files as these can be too abrasive, always wear a base coat to avoid staining from polishes and moisturise hands at least three times daily, also every time you wash your hands! Choose a shape that suits your hands. Generally small hands suit a short and slightly oval shape; a light colour enhances their delicate nature. Oval hands are the ideal shape and will suit any length, shape and colour. Large, broad hands suit nails fairly short and to the shape of the finger, a dark polish and by leaving a narrow area at sides of the nail unpainted this can create the illusion of slimmer hands. However a choice of colour and shape can make a statement, so donâ€™t hold back. Shapes and colours can follow trends so try to find one that suits you. Shapes vary from round, oval, squoval, square and pointed and any good technician will know which will suit your hand type. Nail art is also becoming more popular. This allows you to be expressive, you can select patterns and/or gems, the options are endless. Other alternatives such as acrylics and gel nails can be applied for those of you who may struggle to grow your own nails. Despite the myths if these are removed properly there will be minimum damaged caused to the nail plate. Our nails can also be affected by illness or injury but given time they will return to normal, be it when the nail plate grows out. Also hormonal changes including pregnancy and the sun can have a positive effect on our nails, so enjoy it. For those of you on the go and without the required time to tend to your nails a few handy hints such as always wearing gloves during washing up and gardening, even add a couple of drops of olive oil inside the gloves as this will soften hands and please there is no excuse for dirty nails! Perhaps you are on a budget but still wanting well cared for and manicured nails please contact Tajmeel where we offer treatments by trainees and at very low prices. Whatever your choice, remember you are creating a window into your personality, so make it a positive and a lasting one
Beautiful homes by
oConceptâ€™s 2011 collection of furniture and accessories offers loads of inspiration for the home with a range of designs, colours, functionalities and customisation options. Inspired by 60s and 70s, the sofas, chairs and cabinets are designed in a classic style with a modern interpretation. The new seasonal palette offers vibrant colours of vintage blue, aqua shades, coral red and orange. Mixed with wood, the style is softened and looks more mature.
Graceful clothing by
issoni fall winter collection is all about mix and match! Draped sweaters, jacquard knits, woollen lace scarves and openwork boiled wools are thrown in together with sassy miniskirts, pullovers and jackets to create proportion. Adding glamour and impact to the wardrobe are braided knits, intarsia patterns, wool gloves and tube socks.
Designer Handbags at City Lifestyle
uzy Smith London designer handbag range is a collection of exotic prints and colours. Snake and leopard prints with embellished details are designed in new quirky shapes with pleats and folds. A classic nude enhances the deep blends of forest, indigo, with subtle tones of olive, heather, cerise and ruby, besides black, tan and grey. Satins, velvets and sequins on clutches and X-bodies give this new range a flirtatious look.
arry Winston Premier collection watches strike a creative balance between aesthetic and technical design for a rare and original expression of time. Enriching the line with a distinctly modern touch, two new models are being introduced this year – the Premier Perpetual Calendar for men and the Premier Lady Chronograph for women. The iconic case features Harry’s signature three arches making it a timely collection.
Mango’s chic autumn collection
his autumn, model Elettra Wiedemann is the face of Mango’s catalogue for its new collection which comprises of simple and natural silhouettes based on traditional country wear such as capes, garments with leather or suede appliquès, or thick handmade knits. Contrast and volume is experimented while playing with shades of camels, winter reds, greys and blues. An overall chic look for the modern lady!
Play with your senses
ivency has created a radiant floral fragrance with warm, woody tones in two varieties. The Eau de Parfum and Eau de Parfum Intense uses the unusual blend of tiare flower and amyris wood to spray a sparkling and warm fragrance. Packed in a digital yet feminine pink and purple bottle, slip one into your bag today. 2010 October
Longchamp’s animal instincts
or Autumn 2010, the Longchamp women’s collection is inspired by animals. The eye-catching animal prints are captured on opulent fabrics of fox, lamb and leopard. The collection is complete with the Gatsby and Boheme bags in lush purple and deep red. A sensual collection for the true femme fatale!
his summer, your senses will be rekindled with a new freshness. Carolina Herrera 212 Sexy or 212 Sexy Men fragrances come with a complimentary set of portable speakers. So if you’re spending your vacation relaxing on the beach, trekking through the jungle, or exploring the city streets, take in the scent and sound of fun!
ichael Kors ‘Ready to Wear’ collection features reinvented classics like the little black dress, a fresh take on the trench, and travel-ready tunics. Complementing the chic and sporty clothes are the accessories which reflect the urban aesthetics of American style with their supple leather folds to sophisticated architectural shapes.
Fair success for Georgetown
eorgetown University’s third Annual Education City Community Fair brought together employment recruiters, community clubs, car dealerships, health care providers, airlines, and many other local businesses and services in Doha. It provided an opportunity to discover what Doha has to offer as well as to mingle with the greater Education City community. Besides the universities, the community groups and cultural institutions presented the visitors with an overview of their activities. The fair also witnessed enthralling performance by the Doha Singers and the Doha Players while Reach Out to Asia and Think Pink Qatar organisations explained their charitable activities to visitors at the fair. Qatar Animal Welfare Society (QAWS) was also invited to publicise its services as an animal shelter.
Belgian delights at InterContinental
he first Belgian restaurant in Doha boasting of a menu featuring traditional Belgian dishes and a wide selection of Belgian beverages has now opened its doors at the InterContinental Doha. Designed to be comfortable and cosy, simple and affordable, Belgian Cafe is set to become popular as a meeting place for relaxed times. InterContinental has also opened its fully renovated, impressive Al Wajba Ballroom equipped with state of the art audio-visual facilities suitable for every type of event or function.
Qatar gets its first Barrister
oing Qatar proud of his achievements, Mohammed Essa Al-Mannai, a junior lawyer at Qatar Petroleum recently became the first ever Qatari to become an English Barrister and join the ranks of the most distinguished legal profession in the world. McNair Chambers was the first ever Barristers’ Chambers in 400 years to be established outside the UK, in Qatar. Its members are considered to be amongst the top of the English Legal profession and they have advised and represented for and against more than 70 states, corporations and businesses in Qatar and from all over the world. “Apart from being a profession that is entrenched in history and heritage the training involved in becoming a barrister is especially valuable to any aspiring lawyer. The focus on advocacy, negotiation and litigation was vital when forming my decision to move to London,” says Mohammed.
Mannai aids flood victims
annai Corporation Q.S.C. and its employees helped the people in need of urgent humanitarian relief following the devastating floods in Pakistan with a donation of QR75,000 through the Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS). Mannai employees contributed half (QR37,500) of the donation, a sum equaled by management as Mannai once more demonstrated its corporate social responsibility and social mission as a loyal Qatari corporation. Mannai Corporation’s donation to the QRCS provides emergency shelters, non-food items such as hygiene kits, Jerry cans, hurricane lamps and tarpaulin sheets, food items, water, sanitation and medical equipment for 5,000 struggling families.
Driver Dan set to hit Baraem TV The hit children’s TV series Driver Dan’s Story Train is all set to woo children in the Middle East in its all new Arabic version as Captain Karim Qitar Al-Hekayat. Twofour54 has announced a broadcasting deal with Al Jazeera Children’s Channel preschool arm, Baraem TV, to air 52 episodes of this serial produced by Blink Studios ,reflecting the cultures of the Arabicspeaking world. Captain Karim may well provide a blueprint for emerging content creators working in children’s programming, given that 35 percent of the region’s 340 million population are children under the age of 14.
Selina designs at Cugini
irginia Commonwealth University Fashion Design student Selina Farooqui’s collection will be sold at Cugini, one of the most prestigious boutiques on the Pearl Qatar. Selina was approached by Cugini after looking at her ‘India-inspired’ collection that she had designed for the VCU-Qatar Annual Fashion Show in May this year. Her collection featured a lot of handwork, braiding details and decorative edgings in fabrics ranging from fine silks, brocades, golden embroidered georgettes and cottons. “Just seeing my first labels sewn onto the backs of my garments was a moment I will never forget,” says the budding designer who believes having the opportunity to design and sell her collection at a boutique like Cugini has helped her focus on what she wants to achieve in the future.
A kicking start to Korean Cultural Days
he third Korean Ambassadors Taekwondo Cup was held at the Aspire Zone, marking the start of Korean Cultural Days undertaken by the Embassy as a part of Doha Capital of Arab Culture 2010. The competition organised by the Korean embassy in Doha, together with the Qatar Taekwondo and Judo Federation (QTJF), saw participation of around 60 members of various clubs and organisations in Qatar, including men and women. The success of this unique martial art is seen as a step towards reducing the cultural gap between two nations and in moving ahead towards cultural cohesion between the Korean and Qatari people.
A LIBRARY AT LAST!
DOHA MUMS GET KIDS READING
By Nadira Mendis Amarasinghe
here are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” Here in Doha there are four ladies who so truly believed in this Jacqueline Kennedy quote, that they decided to do something about it; and what a significant thing it is! Kerri Arlando, Alison Gilmour, Lida Larson, and Kirstin Oliver are four mothers who belong to Doha Mums, the successful and popular community of expatriate mothers here in Doha. Sitting around one day, talking of how much they missed the town library concept they enjoyed in England and their sadness about the lack of such facilities here in Doha, an idea sprout-
Carrie Keough reading a story
ed among them. That was how the Doha Mums’ Children’s Library was born. Located in the after-school Kumon Math Centre, in the former art gallery at Souq Waqif, the library boasts over 800 books already, which include picture board books for babies, interactive books for toddlers and captivating story books for the slightly older reader. There are books in English, Arabic, Spanish, French and other languages ensuring that there is something for everyone. The books have been donated mainly by members of Doha Mums, and by a mums group in Houston USA. Vodafone stepped forward as a sponsor to ship the books from Houston to Doha. There
are more books on the way being carried by members of Doha Mums who have offered to pack them in to their luggage. The official launch of the library took place on the September 24, with Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing in attendance. Bloomsbury also donated some books to the fast-growing collection. Currently, the library caters to children between ages 0 to 6; the thinking being that older children have access to school libraries and it was more urgent to set-up facilities for toddlers and preschoolers. For now the library is open on Monday morning, Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning. The timings were chosen so that everybody gets a turn to visit; nonschool-goers can come in during the mornings while school-goers may visit the library in the afternoon and working moms can bring their kids in on Friday morning. In addition to being able to borrow books the kids can attend story time sessions where stories are read to them and they can also engage in arts and crafts at the library art table. The arts and crafts will generally focus on whichever book was read at story time. For example if they read 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle, their craft project that day might be to colour and make little caterpillars of their own. Such extra activities are focused mainly on motivating the kids to come back again and again. Speaking with Kerri, it was gratifying to hear the enthusiasm in her voice as she spoke of this project and their future plans for it. To be a member of the library you need to be a member of Doha Mums. The
reason for this Kerri said, is that the library is staffed by volunteer moms and if membership is limited to Doha Mums members only, it does away with a lot administrative work making it easy for the library to keep track of all its books. To find out more about becoming a member of Doha Mums visit their website. The library charges a membership fee of QR100 per family. The money collected through membership fees is used to buy and replace books, bookshelves and other furniture for the library. The library intends to extend age group boundaries up to 10 years soon. To do this, they need more books and facilities in order to engage the older child. This is where the general public can step in. If you have books that your kids have outgrown, or you are relocating your family, and you need to get rid of your
books, contact the Children’s Library through the Doha Mums website and they will even arrange to pick the books up from you. The group is also looking for more corporate sponsors like Vodafone to tie up with them and donate books, furniture and other material that can help enhance the children’s experience. Many an expert has said that joy of reading is best instilled in a person when they are young. Going by that thought, the Children’s Library has definitely started off on the right foot by opening its doors to the very youngest members of the community. As families start using the library’s resources, not only will it give moms a place and space to meet each other and talk, share and exchange ideas, but it will happen while their children’s worlds are being enlarged by the magic that only a book can bring
Children at the art table
Tanya de Vido at the first story time
Kerri (extreme left) with the other members 2010 October
MOVIES you can’t miss
Life As We Know It
olly Berenson (Katherine Heigl) is an up-and-coming caterer and Eric Messer (Josh Duhamel) is a promising network sports director. After a disastrous first date, the only thing they have in common is their dislike for each other and their love for their goddaughter, Sophie. But when they suddenly become all Sophie has in the world, Holly and Eric are forced to put their differences aside. Juggling career ambitions and competing social calendars, they’ll have to find some common ground while living under one roof.
rank (Bruce Willis), Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich) and Victoria (Helen Mirren) used to be the CIA’s top agents – but the secrets they know just made them the agency’s top targets. Now framed for assassination, they must use all of their collective cunning, experience and teamwork to stay one step ahead of their deadly pursuers and stay alive. To stop the operation, the team embarks on an impossible, cross-country mission to break into the top-secret CIA headquarters, where they will uncover one of the biggest conspiracies and cover-ups in government history. A riveting sequence of action is sure to keep you glued.
ased on the remarkable true story, ‘Secretariat’ chronicles the spectacular journey of the 1973 Triple Crown winner. Housewife and mother Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) agrees to take over her ailing father’s Virginia-based Meadow Stables, despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge. Against all odds, Penny – with the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich) – manages to navigate the male-dominated business, ultimately fostering the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years and what may be the greatest racehorse of all time.
BOOKS you must read
By Emma Donoghue
oom is narrated by five-year-old Jack, whose life has been lived in the same room. His mother has done her best to make it an interesting and vital life for Jack, but the truth is that they’re prisoners in a 12-square-foot shed. Their captor is Old Nick, Jack’s father, who refuses to share Jack’s mother with the rest of the world. It’s the only life Jack knows, and he’s happy and comfortable with it. His mother, though, dreams of freedom and returning to the outside world. Emma’s novel unravels beautifully through the eyes of a young boy and has also received a Booker nomination.
What Is Left the Daughter By Howard Norman
hat Is Left the Daughter is written as a long letter from Wyatt Hillyer to his estranged daughter Marlais on her 21st birthday. He recounts the circumstances that led to this estrangement that occurred during World War II. The suicides of both his parents left Wyatt orphaned at 17, and he went to live with his aunt and uncle in Nova Scotia. Also living with them is their adopted daughter, Tilda. Wyatt is instantly attracted to her, but her heart belongs to a German refugee. Wyatt’s uncle is obsessed with the potential dangers the Germans pose to Canada. When a ferry is attacked by a German boat, Wyatt’s life is torn apart by a series of tragic circumstances and flaring temperaments. Howard’s novel is a mix of beauty, intimacy and wisdom, and revives the endangered art of letter-writing.
I Curse the River of Time By Per Petterson
he novel plot is set in 1989 and revolves around Arvid Jansen, a Norwegian man whose life is unravelling. His marriage is ending and his mother has discovered she has terminal cancer. At this juncture, his mother returns to her native Denmark wanting to be alone, against Arvid’s wish. He follows her to Denmark but is unable to forge the bonds with her that he wants. He reflects on his past and the paths he had chosen that led him to that point in his life. Per’s novel dives into the depth of every character, casting a magical spell over its readers.
just swap www.swapstyle.com
here comes a juncture in life when everything that you possess seems redundant and boring. Your shoes, clothes, books, accessories, etc start to induce a yawn, while your eyes are on a continuous prowl for something new and flashy. In such a situation when you want something new, but fear burning a hole in your pocket; swapping stuff with a stranger comes as a great steal. And how does one do that? Simply log on to: www.swapstyle.com Once you are registered on the site, your account is verified and a profile is created. Your profile is your own personal home page where you can provide information about yourself, upload a profile image,
chat with other members, and add friends. And from there the doors of swapping open up to a world of clothes, books, cosmetics and other accessories you dreamed of. You can add an item you want to swap by simply clicking a good picture of it and uploading it on the ‘Swap menu’ along with details of the item. To browse through the other swap items of members on the site, simply click the ‘Swap My Style’ button. You can then browse through all the latest items that have been put up by clicking the ‘View all Latest Listings’ button, or you can browse items via category. You can choose to filter just the swap items listed from your country of choice, or you can search worldwide. Every item on the site comes with two options – Swap or Buy Now. You could either swap your stuff with someone or simply buy/sell it. To do so, a request will be sent to the owner of the item and if a deal is struck, you would be notified about the confirmation through your inbox. Then you can proceed to exchange addresses with the swapper. Another feature to the site is the token system which is a sign of honesty. For every positive swap deal, you receive a token and gradually while you build up tokens, a trust is simultaneously built. The site also has a ‘Style Diary’ for your personal use. You can keep a track of the items you possess and at the same time share your sense of style with the rest of the members. Through ‘Blog’ and ‘Forum’, you can get involved with the community and post views about fashion or simply chat with members. In all, www.swapstyle.com is a site where wardrobes and trust is shared. A hint of suspicion might always creep in while swapping, but that shouldn’t deter you from being a part of this vibrant community. Its time your wardrobe got a revamp!
What Stifles Qatari Women? Struggling with Portrayals
In the concluding part of a three-part debate on challenges facing women in the country, Dr Amal Al-Malki holds the media accountable for the dichotomous views on women.
he Qatari government’s vision has been to advance Qatari women in all areas and integrate them in the workforce turning them into integral members of society just like men. In such a transitional phase we are witnessing, all governmental institutions and agencies should get on board with the government’s agenda. But what we see is scattered efforts rather than strategic planning from their part. No one denies the importance of media in building the nation. Media can singlehandedly promote political agendas and change attitudes. Media can shape people’s perceptions and is certainly an important tool that can be used to promote women’s
status in the Qatari society. However, Media in Qatar proves to be a perplexing story. When all visual and print media are owned by the government, why aren’t they then furthering the government’s agenda of empowering Qatari women? Shouldn’t the media be helping in shaping better realities? In short, shouldn’t there be a responsible media in such transitional phase complementing the government’s efforts in promoting equality between genders and acceptance of the new generation of working women? To be fair, local newspapers have been keen on interviewing Qatari working women as well as profiling them. But this isn’t enough and doesn’t address the need for reporting real life challenges and obstacles that women face. What these newspapers should do is help in preparing the society for a new era, in which previous
“When all visual and print media are owned by the government, why aren’t they then furthering the government’s agenda of empowering Qatari women?” taboos have to be broken, not only through the publication of photos of women, but in tackling the cultural values that the society takes for granted but are hindering women’s and men’s progress. Media should embrace thinkers from different ideologies in debates about traditions to expose what is valid and what is outdated, and should expose the audience to new discourses in which women issues are the dominant subject rather than a side-topic. I see a lack of a planned media strategy in promoting new women’s roles. Media’s portrayal of Qatari women is dichotomous. It is unintentionally creating a gap between two types of women. On one hand, it perpetuates the image of them being spoilt, passive, beauty- and fashion-driven, with no ambitions or interest in public affairs. On the other hand, there are regular profiling of serious professional women in high posts and leading positions. How many times have I found in one issue both praise and criticism; a story of success and one of failure? While successful working women are being depicted as confident and strong
and are publically quoted as official points of references, the same newspaper publishes opinion articles calling Qatari women vain and accusing them of losing their identities by abandoning their traditions and following western values. The regular reader receives such mixed messages and is offered a further dose of perplexity when he reaches the daily caricature. A student project in Qatar University (2008) advised by Professor Kaltham AlGhanim investigates the stereotypical portrayal of women in newspapers’ caricatures and their impact on moulding the society’s perceptions of women. The students’ study states that although the media has been recording the changing roles of women in the society, it still promotes and feeds the public with the stereotypical portrayal of women as naive and ignorant and only focuses on the women’s physical appearances in the caricatures. The readers are exposed to biased portrayal of women that ignores individual differences as well as age, occupational, social and economic differences.
The writer is an Assistant Teaching Professor of English in Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. Her research interests include the negotiation of identity between the Muslim world and the west, media representations of Arab women and postcolonial literature. She has published articles in numerous journals in the US and UK. Her upcoming book will be published in 2010
Surveys in the local newspapers about issues concerning women rarely involve women or incorporates women’s voices, making it more of what men and society think of women. We have read stories about salaries women earn causing family disputes and the negative impact of the absence of working mothers on their children, but have we ever read how working women are in fact role models in their own houses, how working women are raising better men, and how working women are by themselves investments for a better future for their husbands and children? We are in a need for a responsible media; one that balances between its obligations to portray the society as it is and at the same time to raise the standards and promote progressive ideas that will help the society in advancing. If it is only a reflection of the society, it becomes static and can fall into the traps of being biased and ignoring as well as marginalising the new generations that need their support such as the modern educated generation and working women
and is on women representations in translated Arab news. She is also a member of the Qatar National Competiveness Council. The author will resume her column in 2011 after a short hiatus. You can also read her views at www.amalalmalki.com
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Stigmatised still If detected early, breast cancer can be treated effectively and with minimal damage to the body. However, according to Hamad Medical Corporation, the stigma attached to this prevalent disease has not been eliminated, despite regular local awareness programmes. Many women still hesitate to consult a doctor even after finding abnormalities during self-examination. Statistics show that if breast cancer is discovered in the early stages, there is more than a 90 percent survival rate of up to 10 years. A study on local attitudes towards screening revealed that although Qatari women had adequate knowledge about breast cancer, the screening rates for BSE, CBE and mammography were low, these being performed most frequently by young Qatari women with a higher level of education. (through a survey of 1,200 women) Overall, adequate knowledge However, only 11 percent of women aged 50-59 used mammography as a screening method Barriers Fear of mammogram results (54.9 percent) Embarrassment of having a breast examination by physician (53.3 percent)
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women living in Arab countries. Al Amal Hospital in Doha reported that 20 percent of cancer cases receiving treatment in 2007 were breast cancer among women. Data obtained from the Gulf Centre for Cancer Registration for breast cancer incidence from 1988-2002 ranked Qatar third highest in the Middle East region, after Bahrain and Kuwait. Screening and early detection reduces breast cancer mortality by 35-30 percent. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in the Arab countries and accounting for 13-35 percent of all female cancers. However, the sparse data from the region suggests that Arab women do not fully engage in breast cancer screening activities and services.
Younger women on alert! Significantly, there is an emerging regional trend of younger women being diagnosed with breast cancer; almost 50 percent of women diagnosed are below the age of 50, with a median age of 49-53 years, compared with a median age of 63 in industrialised nations. This has important implications, as breast tissue tends to be denser in younger women, making early detection more difficult.
Breast Self Examination as easy as 1-2-3
Feel each breast for change, in the shower, using the fat pads of the middle three fingers. Begin at the top of the breast and move around and around in at least three smaller circles until reaching the nipple, looking for lumps, knots or changes. Gently squeeze each nipple to look for any discharge.
Repeat while lying down with towel or small pillow under your back.
Stand in front of mirror and look for visual changes in size, skin dimpling or colour.
Repeat on the same day each month. It cannot hurt â€“ it might save your life. You owe it to the ones you love.
A confusing debate
Starting at the age of 40, a woman should have a mammogram every year. This was the screening strategy intended to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages. But nearly a year ago, that simple guideline received a severe shakeup by a US federal panel which was asked to determine the best, most cost-effective ways to provide preventive care. The US Preventive Services Task Force released breast cancer screening recommendations, calling for routine mammography for breast cancer to begin a decade later â€“ at age 50. The task force added that mammography should be done only every other year, rather than annually. This has raised worries that women and doctors alike, confused by the crosstalk between competing expert groups, might just throw up their hands when it comes to mammography. The general guideline for breast cancer screening has not been changed in Qatar, as of now
This month we speak to two women who inspire us to take on bold steps for the right reasons. Women who have faced problems head on, and have...