London hospital helps GCC child cancer patients transform into superheroes

The Superhope campaign has helped six children with cancer at the London hospital change into their favorite superheroes. (Supplied by GOSH)
Updated 07 October 2018
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London hospital helps GCC child cancer patients transform into superheroes

  • It started by asking the children “if you were a superhero, how would you imagine yourself?"
  • Guests and family members at the screening saw the patients as superheroes for the first time

LONDON: A London hospital took part in an initiative that fulfilled the dreams of child cancer patients from the Gulf region, by producing a film that saw them transform into their superhero alter-egos.

The exciting campaign was launched by Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) in London for children from the region who are receiving treatment for cancer and blood disorders.

The Superhope campaign has helped six children with cancer at the London hospital change into their favorite superheroes in a bid to boost their positive mental attitude.

It started by asking the children “if you were a superhero, how would you imagine yourself?” The answers were captured by best-selling London comic book artist, Amrit Birdi, who visited GOSH to transform these answers and sketch out the children’s imagination onto a page.

These sketches, unbeknown to the children, were transformed into real-life costumes by children’s costume studio. And a professional photo and video shoot were used to produce a documentary film and trailer of the child patients.

Guests and family members at the screening saw the patients as superheroes for the first time.

Initially launched in Dubai in 2014, Superhope creators, Tarik Batal and Basma Masri, have since then taken the initiative to different places around the world, including the UK and US.

It works on spreading the awareness of the importance of positive thinking to help children on the road to recovery when fighting complex conditions.

“What an incredible experience it was to have worked with the children at GOSH, and witness their journey transforming into the Superheroes they really are. They were fearless, creative, strong and full of positive life,” said Masri and Batal.

GOSH treats 1,500 children from the Middle East every year for rare and specialist conditions.


French police prepare for fifth wave of yellow vest protests

Updated 46 min 2 sec ago
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French police prepare for fifth wave of yellow vest protests

PARIS: France will deploy tens of thousands of police nationwide and around 8,000 in Paris on Saturday to handle a fifth weekend of ‘yellow vest’ protests, although the movement appears to be losing steam after concessions by President Emmanuel Macron.
The chief of police in Paris said concerns remained about violent groups infiltrating the protests. Anti-riot officers will protect landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe and prevent people getting close to the presidential palace.
“We need to be prepared for worst-case scenarios,” police chief Michel Delpuech told RTL radio.
He expected businesses in the capital to be less affected this weekend after heavy disruption over the past three weeks when major stores shut, hotels suffered cancelations and tourists stayed away during the usually busy run-up to Christmas.
Nicknamed “Acte V” of the protests, the yellow vest demonstrators will take to the streets this weekend as France recovers from an unrelated attack on a Christmas market in the eastern city of Strasbourg on Tuesday, when a gunman shot and killed three people and wounded several others.
Hundreds of police officers were redeployed to Strasbourg to search for the gunman, who was shot dead in an exchange of fire on Thursday evening.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said it was time for the yellow vests to scale down their protests and accept they had achieved their aims. Police officers also deserved a break, he added.
“I’d rather have the police force doing their real job, chasing criminals and combating the terrorism threat, instead of securing roundabouts where a few thousand people keep a lot of police busy,” he said.
TOLL ON THE ECONOMY
Attractions such as the Louvre museum and Opera Garnier will be open this weekend, as will luxury department stores like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. Last Saturday they were closed as thousands of sometimes violent protesters tore through the city. The previous weekend the Arc de Triomphe was vandalized, cars were overturned and torched and businesses smashed up.
The protests have taken a toll on the economy, with output in the last quarter of the year set to be half initial projections, while Macron’s concessions are likely to push the budget deficit above an EU agreed limit.
The yellow vest movement, which began as a protest against fuel taxes and then grew into an anti-Macron alliance, appears to have calmed since the president announced a series of measures to help the working poor.
However, many people wearing the high-visibility motorists’ safety jackets which are the symbol of the protests were manning barricades outside cities on Friday.
After heavy criticism for not being seen to respond to the protesters’ complaints, Macron made a TV address this week during which he said he understood their concerns and acknowledged the need for a different approach.
As well canceling fuel tax increases that were due to kick in next month, Macron said he would increase the minimum wage by 100 euros a month from January and reduce taxes for poorer pensioners, among other measures.
Since the first yellow vest protests on Nov. 17, supporters have kept up a steady stream of dissent, although the numbers joining marches have steadily fallen. ($1 = 0.8857 euros)