Participants at the HL4HF event in Doha, Qatar.
By Ahmed Wafy, YES 2012-2013, Qatar, hosted by AFS in Cumberland, ME
The Alumni Association in Qatar hosted the first ever “Healthy Living for Healthy Families in the Middle East (HL4HF)” regional workshop in Doha. Participants were selected from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to participate in a two-day seminar focused on obesity and public health awareness.
YES alumnus Ahmed Wafy, YES '13, wrote the proposal for the workshop, with the goal of teaching others the healthy lifestyle choices he learned while in the U.S. Through playing soccer and lacrosse, and learning to eat healthily from his host family, Ahmed got into shape and lost 22 pounds. His experience was what inspired him to create a campaign around healthy living in the Middle East.
During the workshop, participants were provided with important resources and information concerning the major causes of obesity and diabetes in the Middle East, along with effective tools and techniques to raise awareness in their respective countries. Experts in the field of public health from The Qatar Foundation, Weill Cornell Medical College, The Qatar Diabetes Association and Aspire Academy were hired to facilitate workshop discussions and activities. At the conclusion of the event, alumni put together a detailed project plan of action that they will use to initiate their own health awareness campaigns back home.
The workshop was a great success; alumni are already returning home to put their plans into action (stay tuned for an update from Kuwait!). The alumni, participants and facilitators were beyond pleased with the event’s success.