Arab News goes pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Arab News goes pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the pink ribbon, a powerful symbol for millions of people affected by the disease.
Breast cancer is one of the major causes of cancer-related deaths among women and has become the most common malignant disease among Arab women.
The most recent statistics from the World Health Organization show that in 2012, there were 99,000 cases of breast cancer reported across the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of Central Asia combined, whereas the EU had 367,000 cases, and the US had 1,677,000.
While breast cancer rates in the MENA region are evidently lower than in the West, the disease appears in Arab women on average at least 10 years earlier than among their global counterparts, according to research from Lotﬁ Chouchane and Konduru Sastry of Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, published in the Lancet Oncology.
In their findings, the Weill Cornell Medical College experts noted that when the disease is first discovered, Arab women are found to have a more advanced stage of the disease with larger tumors. The regional trend toward delayed discovery only adds to the impetus to promote awareness of the disease in women.
Throughout the month, the Arab News website and printed newspaper will feature a series of special reports focused on raising awareness of breast cancer and combating the disease in the Middle East and globally. Our team will be doing all we can to promote this worthy and increasingly vital cause.
Malika Favre: Artist who put Saudi women in the driver’s seat
- In September 2017, King Salman issued a decree declaring an end to the decades-long ban from June 2018
- Some three million women in Saudi Arabia could receive licences and actively begin driving by 2020
French artist Malika Favre has created iconic covers for “The New Yorker” magazine, with animations that have gone viral online. So she was the natural choice for Arab News to illustrate our souvenir edition commemorating the day when women are allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia.
As Faisal J. Abbas, editor in chief of Arab News, explained: “Our website and newspaper — which today features a striking cover illustration by artist Malika Favre — will provide comprehensive coverage of both the immediate impact and wide-reaching, long-term social benefits of this move.”
From her base in London, Favre explained why the idea immediately appealed. “For me, it’s exactly the kind of subject that I want to work with and tackle today. I’ve been increasingly involved with women’s issues over the past few years, with The New Yorker as well.
“These stepping stones are extremely important, and they should be celebrated. It’s also something that as a woman I feel very strongly about.”
What made our global creative director, Simon Khalil, think that the in-demand artist would take his assignment on? “As a champion of women for years through her unique creative style, Malika Favre was the obvious choice,” he said. “Her illustration brilliantly captures the significance of this moment on the day Saudi Arabia changed forever.”
For the illustration, called “Start Your Engines,” Favre began with the idea of “something quite subtle, not aggressive, something celebratory,” coming up with an image of a “beautiful, Arabic woman” that tells a story within a story.
“So, basically, I had this idea of looking at the car from the point of view of the woman who is driving, and so maybe the first thing you see is a woman with a headscarf and quite a colorful image, but then on the second layer you see what’s happening and you see that she is driving the car,” Favre said.
The image of her hands on the wheel, and that iconic Gulf vehicle, a white SUV, are reflected in her sunglasses. These are animated online. “I really like the idea of this woman being on the road, because I think symbolically it’s about going forward,” she said. “That is also a positive element, to create a positive image of what this historic moment will change.”
The topic also resonated with Favre because her mother, while she was born in France, is Algerian. “For her, she always wanted to have the same rights as everyone else. She was a big advocate for that. She raised me in that way as well. So for her it’s also an important cover on a personal level.”
When asked about her favorite assignments, Favre referenced “Operating Theatre” for The New Yorker’s “Health, Medicine & the Body” issue last year.
“It was an extremely important project because it went totally viral.”
In her illustration, female surgeons are arranged in a circle looking down, as if the viewer is on the operating table. In the animation, the image is viewed as if through a blinking eyelid. Women surgeons around the world started re-enacting Favre’s cover, sharing more than 5,000 photos, with the hashtags #NYerORCoverChallenge and #ILookLikeASurgeon.
“For me, it was a very important moment,” Favre said. “It reached out to an audience that wasn’t design-focused. It was something very profound that spoke to these women, and they took it as a very strong statement of let’s celebrate women surgeons.”
Does Favre think the women of Saudi Arabia are up for such an assignment? “I think it definitely has the potential to do that as well,” she said. Challenge accepted.
• Download our free #SaudiWomenCanDrive mobile phone background designed by renowned artist Malika Favre: https://startyourengines.21wallpaper.design