Saturday, November 19, 2011

Emirates Woman of the Year

Sabina Khandwani Named Emirates Woman of the Year 2011 in the Humanitarian Category
Award honours Khandwani’s dedicated efforts in building the region’s most extensive breast cancer awareness programme which has successfully reached out to more than 20 million

Dubai, UAE November 16, 2011 – Sabina Khandwani, founder of the region’s most extensive breast cancer awareness campaign Safe & Sound, was named the Emirates Woman of the Year 2011 in the Humanitarian category for her efforts in transforming BurJuman’s CSR initiative into a major awareness raising programme that has to date reached out to more than 20 million people. The award was presented at a prestigious ceremony held at the Park Hyatt Dubai last night.

After losing her mother to cancer in 1999 as the result of a late diagnosis, Sabina’s goal has been to ensure that women in the UAE are aware of the key message that early detection saves lives and that patients are aware of the support and facilities available to them. Sabina’s dedicated efforts as the Head of PR and Marketing at BurJuman have spear-headed the programme which has successfully raised funds through sponsored events and donations which were utilized towards providing thousands of free check-ups and mammograms for women and spreading further awareness through numerous educational and outreach initiatives as well as a massive media campaign.  

In its sixth year, The Emirates Woman of the Year Awards continues to honour and celebrate the achievements of women in the business, arts and culture, philanthropic and visionary fields in the UAE. Nominated and voted for by the public, previous winners include film-maker Nayla Al Khaja, leading UAE artist Maisa Al Qassimi and the 2010 winner Mariam Behnam.

I must say I am very proud to be a member of the Safe and Sound team. Congratulations Sabina, you deserve every bit of the award. We're always here to support your guided cause.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dubai Fashion Week SS2012

I know it's quite late for me to blog about Dubai Fashion Week which occurred last October 20-24, but having a day job is not as easy, it makes me so tired that when I get home I just want to sleep and rest. Last weekend (Weekends are my dedicated blogging time), my whole family and I were sick with the flu and so even if I had my pictures ready, I wasn't feeling like posting a blog.

Back to the main topic, Dubai Fashion Week was the first fashion show I have ever attended and I'm really happy I got a media pass for it, bonus! Ever since I was a child, I dreamed of being on those shows, I always thought I would become a designer myself because I used to have this binder full of fashion sketches and said that I would open up my own boutique one day. I even bought a pricey book on fashion designing just to learn more about it. Well, I still sketch some designs every now and then, but with photography, day job and everything, I hardly find time for it.

The girl responsible for giving away the media ID's gave me a backstage pass sticker so if ever she gets to read this, thank you so much Ate (She's filipina) for giving me one. After entering the hall, I immediately searched for the back stage, well I entered the VIP room first but everyone was just drinking some champagne (and other expensive drinks) and socializing. So I left the room at once, I mean what would I do there, 'Hi, I'm Janine and uhmm...?". So I quickly left the room and eventually found the back stage (cue in angels singing hhaaaaaa.....) There it was! Models being made up, Make up artists and hair stylists occupied with fixing up their own models. It was a beautiful chaos. I put down my camera bag and clicked away...

 I can't wait to attend the next DFW. It was really a great experience, meeting photographers, models, bloggers and artists. Stay in tuned for my next DFW blog post about some of the shows I attended. Thank you for reading :)

(c) Janine Khouri Elias. Pictures cannot be used without prior consent from Janine.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Safe and Sound's Pink Walkathon

12,000 Participants Hit the Streets at 2011 Pink Walkathon
Highest ever number of participants take part in the annual BurJuman Safe and Sound Pink Walkathon to raise breast cancer awareness and funds

Dubai, UAE, October 28, 2011 – The streets of Dubai were bathed in pink on October 28 as the eighth annual BurJuman Safe and Sound Pink Walkathon once again brought together thousands of supporters who set off on the 3.6 kilometer walk from BurJuman.

The number of participants involved in this year’s Pink Walkathon is the highest ever in the charitable event’s history. The 12,000-strong crowd all donning Safe and Sound caps and T-shirts, included breast cancer survivors and their families, individuals supporting the cause, schools, universities and corporate teams who took to the streets to show their solidarity and help raise funds to support activities aimed at raising breast cancer awareness and supporting patient care.

The non-competitive event is the biggest gathering and most anticipated flagship initiative in the year-round Safe and Sound activity schedule, and this year brought the Campaign’s activities during Breast Cancer Awareness Month to a successful close.

The morning’s activities started off great music spun by DJ Sash. Rob Idol, the UK’s number one ‘Robbie Williams’ tribute artist then roused the crowd with lively renditions of chart-toppers such as ‘Angels’, ‘Let me entertain you’ and ‘Eternity.’ The performer, who was part of the 2010 ‘Take That’ tour and has played more than a 1000 shows to an audience of over 2 million people, got the participants revved up for the walk and was cheered on by the crowd as they prepared to set off. Dancers and drummers kept up the tempo. Thousands of environmentally friendly pink balloons released marked the start and 12 Harley Davidson riders led the walkers down the route, followed by 50 Dubai Drummers. Pink drums also handed out by the organizers to walkers had kids and families drum to the beat all along the way.

Post-walk, a live band, free drumming sessions with Dubai Drums, arts and crafts activities for the young participants, roaming entertainers, face painters, super breakfast offers and great bargains at the Pink Bazaar let participating families make a great morning out of the event.

“The Pink Walkathon is a wonderful and tangible sign of the UAE community’s support of the Safe and Sound message – which is to raise awareness on breast cancer and encourage more women to be vigilant and proactive towards their own health. Over the years we have seen thousands of participants give of their time to be a part of this event. The funds raised through registration fees will directly serve the Campaign’s activities but the sheer number of supporters is an achievement in itself and a clear demonstration that people in the UAE know that doing their bit to spread the word can help save lives,” says Sabina Khandwani, Spokesperson of Safe and Sound and Head of PR and Marketing at BurJuman. 

This October, the BurJuman Safe and Sound campaign and the Pink Walkathon as the anchor event were supported by the strategic partner Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE) as well as principal partners ADCB, Amber Clinics, Del Monte and UniCare Medical Centre. Masafi once again provided water to participants of the walk.

* All pictures are taken by Janine Khouri Elias except the first aerial picture. Pictures taken with my trusty Canon EOS 400D and 50mm f/1.8.

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