Cancer is among the world’s most feared illnesses, and today, it’s rare to find an individual who hasn’t been affected personally by the disease. To shed light on the journeys of those who have faced cancer, world-renowned Leica photographer Ramzi Mansour has brought together a very special photo book. Titled ‘Resilience’, the coffee table read tells the stories of 42 female cancer warriors, and was launched globally in October 2021.
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What makes the must-read doubly special is the fact that it was conceptualized under the patronage of Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, the very first woman to hold a ministerial post in the United Arab Emirates. As former Minister of State for Tolerance, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Minister of Economic and Planning of the United Arab Emirates, her excellency is very much among the most inspiring and influential women in the region, and is also the Vice Chairman and founding member of the non-profit Friends of Cancer Patients.
Earlier today, both Ramzi Mansour and Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi came together at the Leica Store, Dubai Mall, for a book launch that celebrated the milestone moment. “This book is very special because it talks about stories of women, [out of which] some are survivors—but not all of them,” her excellency shared with Vogue Arabia at the inauguration. “The fact that every person has some story… someone that they know, a relative, a friend, a close friend who has gone through this journey as well makes this book very close to us emotionally and close to our hearts.” Sheikha Lubna counts herself among the millions who have lost loved ones to cancer, revealing that “I lost two close friends to cancer, and it’s a tough journey for the patients, for the family, for the friends. It is us who need to provide the love and support. They don’t expect us to come with miracles. They just want us to show our passion, our closeness, and what they mean to us in our lives. If you know someone who is going through this journey, be there and have the courage to express your love.”
During the conversation, Sheikha Lubna also applauded Mansour’s efforts on the project, saying, “He did this on his own, and he must be really courageous to be able to actually sit and listen to their stories.” While Mansour captured striking black and white portraits of each woman in the book, it was his wife Nicole Mansour who curated each story, taking readers on journey after journey from diagnosis to fear, anger and finally, finding resilience. Since its global launch, the book has already been downloaded more than 5,000 times, and will also be available at oncologists’ offices in South Africa, Nigeria, Beirut, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the aim of reaching out to cancer patients and helping them remember that they are not alone.
To know more about ‘Resilience by Ramzi & Nicole Mansour’, click here.