Each year, October is marked by Pink October, a global communication campaign to raise public awareness about breast cancer screening and fundraising for research. Pink October also serves to remind us of the courageous battles fought by cancer patients around the world, such as in the Middle East, where several famous Arab women have recently made their fight against the disease public.
Lebanese superstar Elissa
In 2018, Lebanese singer Elissa chose to reveal her silent fight against breast cancer in the video clip of her song “Ila Kol Elli Bihebbouni”. In her lyrics, the singer describes with emotion her struggle against the disease and her victory over it after a long period of treatment. Since then, the singer has become a strong advocate for breast cancer prevention, speaking out at important events in Lebanon and abroad.
The Egyptian actress May El Ghety
The Egyptian actress chose to reveal her fight against breast cancer after walking the red carpet and facing some criticism at the 2018 Cairo International Film Festival. May El Ghety wore a V-neck dress for the occasion and some critics did not hesitate to attack the actress on her dress considered “too revealing”. It was with courage that she explained to them via Instagram that she wore this outfit in order to proudly show off her scars following her operation to cure breast cancer.
Egyptian fashion designer and actress Yasmine Ghaith
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. قالوا لي "هتلبسي تي شيرت علي الred carpet إزاي؟؟" قالوا لي لأ لازم كل يوم فستان رهيب بقي و منفوش و بيلمع و كده…. . الحقيقة ده حلو قوي و كل حاجة و عملته كذا يوم، بس حبيت أستعمل السجادة دي لحاجة مفيدة، حبيت أبعت منها رسالتي اللي بقالي تلات سنين بشتغل عليها، حبيت أقول لكل حد بيتكسف من جروحه و بيحاول يدريها إنها شرف مش عار، بالعكس دي حاجة نفتخر بيها…… . بشوف دايماً بره مصر الفنانين و الpublic figures بيعملوا توعية من خلال الred carpet، و إحنا مش أقل منهم في حاجة فحبيت أحاول أعمل فرق و إختلاف….. . Also since #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth is around the corner, I said this, "Our Scars Are Our Pride…#AlwaysWearYourSmile" , I also went with my natural post chemo hair… ❤ #DareToBeDifferent . Thank you my beautiful friend @stylememoir_by_mayar for inspiring me with this idea, I love you! . Hair, makeup, and styling | by yours truly Jewellery | @ygpieces PR management | @stardust__pr . #GFF #GFF19 #GFF2019 #YasmineGhaith #ياسمين_غيث #MyCancerDiaries #YGFFStoryTelling #قصص_غيث @elgounafilmfestivalofficial @elgounaredsea
Revealed in the hit series “Halawet El Donya” in 2017, Yasmine Ghaith is a young Egyptian actress who, in addition to playing the role of Heba, a woman with cancer, was undergoing real-life treatment for cancer at the very time she was shooting the series. While she has since beaten her Stage 2 cancer, the actress continues to remind her 151,000 Instagram subscribers of the importance of early testing.
Kuwaiti actress Zahraa Al Kharji
While Zahraa Al Kharji is known in the Arab world for her acting career in theatre and television, notably in the Kuwaiti series “Madinat Ar-Riyah”, the actress is also known for shaving her head in 2014 in solidarity with cancer patients. Zahraa Al Kharji has become a key figure in breast cancer prevention, after overcoming her disease in 2005.