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Samia Al-Amoudi: Woman of Courage

A two-time survivor of breast cancer, Samia Al-Amoudi is an inspiration to women around the world. She was awarded the first International Women of Courage Award in March 2007 by the U.S. Department Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in recognition of her unprecedented breast cancer awareness campaign.

During a period when breast cancer was considered a taboo in Saudi Arabia, Al-Amoudi helped break the silence about her personal battle with the illness by sharing her story. As a physician herself, she saw the importance of raising awareness of the disease among the other women in the Kingdom and across the Middle East.

In a recent interview with Arab News, she said the major challenges facing people dealing with breast cancer and tackling the problem is “the problem of breaking the silence, as people wouldn’t talk about it, and, in some cases, even thinking of it is taboo.”

Al-Amoudi continuously advises women all over the world to be informed about the disease and to get regular breast exams.

As an advocate for women’s health issues, Al-Amoudi is currently the chairwoman of the Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi Center of Excellence in Breast Cancer. She is also a physician specialized in obstetrics, gynaecology and breast cancer.

She has also authored several books on obstetrics and gynaecology and was the first Saudi woman to write publicly about her experience of breast cancer when she was diagnosed in 2006, which she did in a series of articles in a weekly column in the Al-Madinah newspaper.

Among some of her most prominent recognitions was being fifth on the Power 100 list in 2010 of Arabian Business’s annual listing of the world’s most influential Arabs. In 2013, she was nominated by CEO as one of the top 100 most powerful Arab women. In August 2012 became the first woman from the GCC to win a seat at the Union for International Cancer Control Board of Directors in Geneva. MBC TV named her one of 4 women in the Middle East who has contributed to change in their societies, and she was honoured by Susan G. Komen for the Cure in March 2008 in Washington DC.

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