Saudi activist shares her cancer survival story in new book
After battling cancer in 2006 and a second time last January, the Saudi hero decided to launch an autobiography sharing her story
One of the highlights of the Riyadh International Book Fair this year was the book signing by a major public figure and Saudi woman activist. Lots of locals lined up to get an autograph by the courageous cancer survivor, Dr. Samia Al-Amoudi.
After battling cancer in 2006 and a second time last January, the Saudi hero decided to launch an autobiography sharing her story with the world.
Titled “Memoirs of a Saudi Woman”, Al-Amoudi tells her life story in which she faced major challenges, beginning with the loss of her dear father at a young age, her three marriages, battling the tough threats of cancer, juggling her life as a single mother and other challenges as a gynecologist during a period when female doctors were rare in Saudi Arabia.
She has always been a favorite of the media because she is one of the few who decided to speak up about taboos in a conservative society. When she first started writing about her experience with the dreadful disease in a weekly column in a local newspaper, it was unheard of in the Kingdom. She broke the barrier in a community where it was considered off-limits to talk about issues like breast cancer.
By participating in the local and world media and drawing today more than 72,000 followers on social networks, she labels herself as a leader in women’s health empowerment.
After sharing her story, many Saudi women did not feel alone. Her life account generated understanding by many who went through similar experiences.
In an exclusive interview with Saudi Gazette, Al-Amoudi said, “In October 2014 the number of campaigns has exceeded a hundred. The number of women asking for (breast cancer) screening is increasing. There is a tremendous change since 2006.”
When asked about her goals in awareness building since she first opened the Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi Center of Excellence in Breast Cancer, she said her goal is to have “our daughters live in a world free of cancer” and to achieve “the same statistics as Western countries where they discover the cancer at early stages. At that stage the cure rate is about 95 percent”.
The book gained lots of attention by the media and readers interested in her story. Al-Amoudi plans to translate it into English soon.