Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) students recently hosted a breast cancer awareness drive, which included a fundraiser that helped raise over 100,000 Qatari Riyals for Qatar Cancer Society. The event, which was organized by the University’s student-run Women’s Society and Development Club, formed part of three days of activities which aimed to increase the level of understanding about the disease.
The student club has spent the last two months organizing the annual campaign, which was held for the sixth time at the GU-Q building in Education City. In addition to the sale of raffle tickets, the money was raised through donations from members of the public. Vendors who held booths at the event also contributed their profits to the cause.
The student club used the opportunity to invite a range of Qatari businesses to take part, particularly those which were founded or run by female entrepreneurs. “We wanted to use this opportunity to showcase the strength of Qatari women,” said Haya Al-Thani (SFS ’18), who helped organize the fundraising event. Vendors who participated included Sugar and Spice, Tasmeem, Pick ‘n Shake and Burgeri.
This year, awareness activities also included a talk by a breast cancer survivor, who shared her story with students and answered questions on her experience. Emmy-nominated documentary In the Family was also screened, and was followed by a discussion session. The film tells the story of a women whose genetic tests identify a high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, and the impact this has on her and her relationships.
“We chose the documentary because we believe it raises many questions that the audience can think about,” explained Mariam Diefallah (SFS ‘17), co-president of the Women’s Society and Development Club. “Apart from the topic itself—cancer—the documentary raises ethical and emotional questions that face many women diagnosed with cancer. We also hope this documentary, as part of the awareness campaign, will encourage students to go get early checks, and to encourage their families and friends to do the same.”
The funds gathered at the event will be used to raise awareness among the public in Qatar about the detection and prevention of the disease, as well as pay for treatment for those who cannot afford it.