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Ataya raises funds for Lebanon cancer centre

Abu Dhabi: The Red Crescent Authority (RCA) has organised for the first time the exhibition "Ataya" (donations) to raise money in support of the Children Cancer Centre in Lebanon (CCC).

"Exhibitors are all handpicked by a committee headed by Shaikha Shamsa Bint Hamdan Bin Mohammad Al Nahyan, who set art as the theme for this event which concluded yesterday. Exhibitors were artists and designers.

The proceeds from exhibitor fees and ticket sales will be donated to support CCC," Hind Khamis Al Muharbi, Member and Coordinator of Ataya higher Committee at the RCA, told Gulf News yesterday.

The centre has been treating children under 20 years old, stricken with cancer at no charge, and does not discriminate against race or nationality.

"A child treatment costs $50,000 per year [Dh182, 500], we are trying to sponsor as many children as we can through programmes like Ataya," she added.

Visitors had the chance to donate any amount of money other than the entrance fee to the exhibition, allowing people to sponsor a child's treatment for as long as they are able and willing to donate.

Renowned names in arts and design contributed to the good cause.


"Participation in this exhibition reflected the awareness of this cause across a wide spectrum of people and the care to give a young child a chance to live a normal life," she added.

"Cancer treatment is a huge financial burden on patients' families. Those who can afford to help can't just do anything and still believe in a good world," Sevan Bicakci, a Turkish jewellery designer told the Gulf news.

Bicakci is not a stranger to the pains and sacrifices of the families of cancer patients. In the past two years, he lost his father to lung cancer and his father-in-law to bladder cancer, along with other friends over the years.

"Both men were enjoying life tremendously, and they would have loved to spend more time with the family and grandkids," Bicakci added.

Bicakci's only boutique outside of his homeland Turkey, is in the UAE.

"The UAE is a special place for me. Turkey has a lot to share with the Arab world in terms of cultural heritage. It is easier for the people of this region to understand the inspirations of my designs and hence get a connection," he explained.

The cultural heritage of Istanbul and Turkey is a very important source of inspirations.

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