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Being Sentenced to AIDS

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Written by: Rana Khaled Awwad

Edited by: Muhammad Balbaa, Gilan Choubachy, Mona Timor Shehata

Published by: Amira Haytham

“And when I die, I won’t die from AIDS, I won’t die because of my disease, but yours.” This Quote mentioned in Hend Sabry’s movie “Asmaa” accurately describes the true suffering and the weight that an AIDS patient carries more than the disease in itself, that is not as fatal as society’s condemnation like:“She has AIDS! She definitely fornicated!”, “She brought shame to her family” and “He has AIDS! So he must be a drug abuser and maybe even a homosexual”. These are justifications that are usually heard from judgmental ignorant people piling on the dismay of HIV patients, filled with glee as they think they fully deserved and sealed their fate to be neglected and abused by society for the horrid sin of catching a disease.

A lot of people have to hide their illness and choose suffering in silence, as a better choice, rather than facing society simply because of the countless, innumerable accusations that will be directed at them from their friends and family for the simple act of catching a disease.

AIDS may cause the death of patients by attacking their immune system. But they choose that fate over being attacked day in and day out by the society’s stares and ridicule for simply having the illness. Psychological demolishing and baseless shameful accusations cause the carriers of the disease to cower and isolate themselves in the face of this fatal virus.

A dentistry student in her final year had been applying a tooth extraction operation on a patient, using her own medical equipment including a tool referred to as the “needle”. A tool used in operation, that unfortunately had punctured her hand while using, causing it to bleed.

Since that Hepatitis C is transmitted via blood, she had her suspicions that she might have contracted it from the patient, and decided to run some tests and to make a diagnosis to make sure that she was not infected with Hepatitis C or any other diseases that’s blood transmissible.

In order to save time, prior to taking the everlasting time taken in examinations (tests), she decided to ask the patient himself whether he suffers from any blood transmissible diseases or not. Unfortunately, tracking the patient’s health status revealed that he does not have Hepatitis C; however, he is HIV positive. Due to government hospitals’ bureaucracy when it comes to procedures for AIDS diagnoses, tests and vaccinations, over 72 hours had passed since the incident, consequently, the vaccination would not be effective.

What’s shocking regarding the whole incident is that the first concern that rushed to the doctor and her parents was “How are we going to face society?”, instead of it being as, it should be, with a family member contracting a serious illness, “Will I be able to handle the treatment well?”

Those with serious diseases, specifically AIDS or HIV at the beginning of inoculation of virus- carriers, hate to be treated by society as if they are lesser than healthy individuals, either with extreme consideration and over the top sweetness, condescending treatment of cancer patients comes to mind, or with blatant victim blaming, bitterness and faceless accusations that drives HIV patients to not wish for  a cure for AIDS, but for a cure for society’s unjustified prejudice and uncompromising, unrelenting ignorance of the matter.

 

Scientifically speaking, AIDS has different ways of transmission: yes it is sexually transmitted and widely spread among homosexuals and drug abusers, which is transmitted mainly through drugs. Be that as it may, why not consider the possibility that one may become infected with AIDS simply out of the carelessness of a barber?

Surprisingly enough, shaving using contaminated equipment that was in contact with a carrier is one of the most common methods of transmitting AIDS. Infections at hairdressers for the ladies comes in as a strong second. Contaminated blood transfusions and its equipment are also a leading cause for patients to catch the virus. In government hospitals, cleanliness is not much of a focus due to the place’s budget, which increases AIDS infection incidents.

There is a slight nuance, yet an important distinction between HIV and AIDS. HIV is when the virus infects the body and remains latent and symptom-less for years. Once the symptoms appear, the patient is said to be an AIDS patient.

Society has affected people’s ideologies when it comes to illness, made it something to live in fear of when it comes to fatal diseases. Society keeps setting limits and barriers to diminish our actions, our choices, our appearance and as of late, our health. All of us believe that upon our death, we will be judged based on our own actions and choices; we must remember that society will not justify our actions in our “dunia” and to treat others how we hope others will treat us.

The problem is that society’s role is undeniable and should be vital, but a positive one: instead of directing all this hatred towards a human being suffering from a certain disease eating their bodies, enlighten them more about the disease to have their own precautions. Conduct more awareness campaigns, put hygiene and care measures in place when it comes to handling blood. A lot of people get the disease not because they are immoral, sluts, or even drug abusers; they simply get it because they are unaware.

For whoever is suffering from HIV, your disease can not be treated, but can be cured! You can live a long lasting life carrying this virus and live peacefully without suffering from pain, health obstacles, and nothing is precluded by your disease. However, take your precautions during sexual intercourse in order not to transmit the virus to your partner. Consequently, fertility is almost impossible in order not to harm the partner or the future baby by carrying the virus, as well. In addition to these precautions, marry, live healthily, practice your normal life and your daily routine, as long as you take the required medications to limit the virus and let it be latent preventing it from damaging your blood cells.

In conclusion, fear is the true fatal disease that devours us alive, not AIDS. For one to truly plan to defeat this undef-eatable societal condemnation, one would need to stand up to the world and take away its power of making us cower and doubt ourselves through their petty judgment.

Magazine

Stevie Awards Winners’ Articles Series – Eng. Abeer Mahmoud Ramadna

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“Continuous Learning, adopting innovation & creativity and teamwork are among the guiding principles of success and excellence in the government sector” Eng. Abeer Mahmoud Ramadna

Winner Name: Eng.  Abeer Mahmoud Ramadna

Winner Title: Director Assistance for Control & Inspection for Economic Activities at Ministry of Industry & Trade in Jordan

Winning categories:

  1. The Gold Stevie Winner in the category “the most innovative Communications Professional of the year “
  2. The Silver Stevie Winner in the category “Innovation in Community Relations or public Services Communications”
  3. The Bronze Stevie Winner in the category “Innovative Management in Government – Organizations with 100 or more employees”
Brief Biography about the Winner:

Abeer Ramadna is the Director assistant of control and inspection unit at the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply (MIT) in Jordan, she has a Master Degree in Industrial Engineering- Engineering Administration / University of Jordan with “excellent degree”. Abeer has 20 years of experience in private and public sectors, and is a focal point for UNIDO at MIT in Jordan. Abeer is a certified Management development Expert from ITC/ Vienna in 2005, a certified Export Consultant to EU from CBI/Netherland in 2007, certified Lead Auditor for Quality Management ISO 9001:2015, a certified Engineer Expert in Quality and Environmental Management systems in 2018 and a certified EFQM Assessor from EFQM in 2019. Eng. Abeer has a wide professional expertise in many fields that allow her to provide consultations to the organizations in various fields including Quality Management, Environmental Management, preparing industrial polices, strategies and plans, Inspection polices, Monitoring & Evaluation systems, implementing the ISO9001, ISO14001 ISO14040s standards, and conducting technical industrial sectors studies.

Eng. Abeer won three Stevie Awards from three different categories after participation in Middle East Stevie Awards in 2020, these are:

  1. Gold Stevie Winner in a category:” The Most Innovative Communications Professional of the Year”. These categories honor the most innovation in communications practice, management, and use of technology.
  2. Silver Stevie Winner in a category: “Award for Innovation in Community Relations or Public Service Communications”. These categories honor innovation in communications practice, management, and use of technology in the public sector.
  3. Bronze Stevie Winner in a category: “Award for Innovative Management in Government “. These categories honor innovation in executive management including the Award for Innovative Management in a number of industry sectors.

Abeer has been published scientific papers in one of the world accredited journals in E-government. Titled “Barriers to E-Government Adoption in Jordanian Organizations from Users’ and Employees’ Perspectives” in 2017, the link is:

https://www.igi-global.com/article/barriers-to-e-government-adoption-in-jordanian-organizations-from-users-and-employees-perspectives/181280

and published another scientific paper titled: “SEM approach to determine factors affecting e-government success in Jordan”,  the link is:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333488499_SEM_approach _to_determine_factors_affecting_e-government_success_in_Jordan

She was selected as a Judge at the Best Jordanian chemical product Award in all three cycles of it during 2015 to 2020, Judge in the 2019 management & entrepreneur Awards categories judging committee Stevie Awards, and Judge at the best industrial engineering project for the Jordanian universities in 2019. She participated in several national and International conferences, meetings and presented papers, as a representative of the MIT / Jordan.

https://www.facebook.com/abeer.ramadna

http://linkedin.com/in/abeer-ramadna-msc-ie-pe-cbi-em-itc-mde-66928170

https://stevieawards.com/ar/mena/eng-abeer-ramadna-2

http://jordanembassyus.org/news/jordanian-engineer-wins-three-middle-east-stevie-awards?fbclid=IwAR2iBj4P8uHERE_Q2Yf-hatk2yJ-bGeq1g8MaYPIz_HJ42HqUyA6UCPehdM

Stevie Award winning Case Study:

  • Developing action plans of inspection development to governmental institutions (Inspectorates) work in fields of health, Environment, labor, safety for economic sectors in Jordan.
  • Supervision of developing Electronic Inspection System for governmental inspectorates.
  •  Conduct many awareness workshops for governmental inspectorates and for private sector institutions.
  • Conduct many workshops and training sessions as A National trainer of trainers in the shaping of future studies.
  • Secretariat of higher committee for Inspection development of Economic Activates that consists from high level management in governmental inspectorates.
  • Abeer is trusted as a competent team leader and confident expert in Quality management & Inspection systems
  • Abeer conducted in 2018 a study titled the Industrial engineering in the government sector in Jordan, current situation and future opportunities and present it in the 2nd International Conference on Industrial Systems & Manufacturing Engineering (ISME’19) Nov, 11-12, 2019 in Amman.
  • Abeer was chosen after a series of selection process as one of the National participants in the Civil Service Development Program in Jordan and attended all phases including the leadership and developing high performance teams at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst UK during 2019.

Eng. Abeer Mahmoud Ramadna “Continuing to contribute achievements and make positive impacts are goals that are achievable with the presence of strong & positive attitude, self-motivated character & determination.”

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Articles

Stevie Awards Winners’ Articles Series – Asiacell

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“Winning such an award requires hard work and we encourage other companies to focus on their customers and local communities in order to excel”

Winning Organization: Asiacell

Nomination: Award for Excellence in Innovation in Technology Industries (including Telecom)

Brief about the Organization:

Asiacell is a leading provider of telecommunications and data services in Iraq. As part of international telecommunications company Ooredoo Group, Asiacell was Iraq’s first mobile telecommunications provider to achieve nationwide coverage. Asiacell is also a leading internet provider with its 3.9G data services, offering the best network coverage in all of Iraq since January 2015.

Stevie Award Winning Case Study:

As part of its commitment to expand network coverage in Iraq, Asiacell has continued to support the redevelopment of the country’s infrastructure and economy and the provision of high-quality connectivity solutions. It has enhanced its “Hot Zone” restoration strategy by putting 200 sites on air and connecting over 500 sites to 3G.

Focused on improving the quality of life for communities, Asiacell’s CSR initiatives are focused on key areas, such as health, education and culture. Asiacell has equipped several higher education institutions with computer labs and supported the renovation of schools, with the aim of providing quality education infrastructure. It also partnered with the Chibayish Environmental Tourism Organization to build the first Iraqi Marshlands heritage museum in Ahwar as part of its efforts to revive Iraq’s Marshland, while generating a positive effect on tourism and jobs creation. 

Recognising that its people are its key asset, Asiacell continues to roll out initiatives focused on engaging and empowering employees. It has invested heavily in digital transformation, including digital upskilling for employees, and streamlining of various internal processes in order to nurture a digital-first culture that embraces innovation.

We are so glad to be recognized as a successful and innovative telecommunication company in Iraq with a Stevie Award for “Excellence in Innovation in Technology Industries”. Recognition from the Stevie Awards means a lot to us and motivates Asiacell to continue to serve the community with professionalism. Winning such an award requires hard work and we encourage other companies to focus on their customers and local communities in order to excel.

THANK YOU

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Articles

Qisaty Project & Developing Talent in Children with Special Needs in Egypt

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Edited By: Mahmoud Mansi

Qisaty Project – founded by Mona Lamloum – was launched on 26th December 2019 to support children talents through a series of storytelling, writing and drawing workshops.

The total number of children who participated in the storytelling workshop is 60 including the most talented 20 who were selected to the story writing sessions, 16 children ranging from 6 to 14 years old got their stories selected to be drawn by 19 children with special needs.

The drawing workshops were held in 3 cities in Egypt with cooperation with 2 special needs associations; Nida Society Rehabilitation with both branches in Cairo and Luxor. 14 children, and Ashab El-Erada Association in Alexandria. 5 children.

The children have different disabilities, hearing loss, partial blindness, movement disability, learning difficulty disability, mental disability and increased electricity in the brain.

Of course such an interesting project needs proper preparation and an intellectual plan. Mona Lamloum shared some of the challenges that she and her team have faced during the project:

1-The global pandemic and the sudden lockdown.

2- The fact that most of the children with special needs suffer from many chronic diseases which lowers their immunity, in addition to the huge responsibility that lies on the team while holding the workshop during the pandemic.

3-The fear of the parents of the children with special needs participation at the drawing workshops due to the pandemic and the lack of their immunity. Which was managed to concur with the help of the project partners in drawing workshops. 

Eventually, Qisaty Project was held at exceptional circumstances and according to deadlines set up before the global Corona pandemic. However, the team did their best to get the project done within the lockdown with a quality that is aspired from the beginning, and that was done simply by teamwork, sharing a unified vision, and collaborating to find new solutions.

The result is 16 short stories in addition to 64 drawings by hands of talented children with special needs and with variable disabilities from three cities: Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor. Each drawing tells a different scene from a short story inspired from the children themselves to be published as a grand book that gathers the short stories and the drawings of all the talented young participants.

Acknowledgements:

Qisaty Sponsors:

– Amideast: Hosted the story telling, story writing workshops and the day that gathered the writers and children with special needs mixed day.

– Nahdet Misr Publishing House.

Media Sponsors:

– Marj3 Platform

– HR Revolution Middle East

– EBBY

– Arablit Quarterly

Children with special needs Associations:

– Nida Society Rehabilitation with both branches in Cairo and Luxor.

– Ashab El-Erada Association in Alexandria.

Qisaty Trainers:

– Hanan El-Taher.

– Mona Lamloum.

– Zeinab Mobark.

Designing Storytelling and writing workshop:

-Mona Lamloum

Writing workshops:

– Mona Lamloum

– Yaqoub El-Sharouni

Drawing workshop:

– Under the supervision of Shoikar Khalifa,

 – With the help of respectful team at Nida Association at Cairo and Luxor.

 – Ashab El-Erada Association at Alexandria by Sahar Zaiton with the help of Aliaa Abd-Elsalam.

Team Members:

– Rawan Said

– Ahmed Ismail

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