2009-11-10

Time is Now. To look at your Breasts.

There were boobs everywhere in Lebanon. Staring at you from all over the place. In supermarkets, in busy streets, looking at you from behind news stands. There were huge ones and tiny ones. And every size in between.

And they were pink.

Aah the wonder of typography. With a simple twist, the Arabic letter “n” in the headline is crafted to fit where it fits best – delivering a memorable message. Pity that we don’t see much attention paid to typography in Paradise.

The headline translates to “it is time” (time is now) and this is the key visual of a breast cancer awareness campaign currently running in Lebanon. From huge billboards to tiny handouts at supermarkets, this is everywhere these days.

For an Arabic country, this is a daring approach. But then again, if they wanted attention, they certainly got mine.

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Background: For decades, the subject of breast cancer has been considered unmentionable amongst families in the Arab World. According to National Cancer Registry, Breast Cancer accounts for 38.2% of all cancer cases in Lebanon..! To know more, please visit the campaign website here.

25 comments:

  1. LOL!
    Well, Lebanon has always been the 'bad boy' of the Middle East :D

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  2. sabbieeeee... you have a blog! How come I didn't know it..? *bangs head*

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  3. wow! :D nice campaign to bring awareness to a very important issue! :)

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  4. The letter is "Noon"... You are offending muslims. Very subtle, very cunning but also very poor taste !
    Learn to respect other religions too. Its OK making fun, but then one should know his limits. Honestly this is not funny. I'm sure many others would feel the same way. Appreciate you take it down.

    Thanks

    A muslim reader

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  5. Dear Muslim Reader,

    Thank you for your note. I know the letter is “noon” (and pronounced “na” when learning the alphabet) and I am aware of the kaaf, qaaf, laam, meem etc etc. But for the non-Arabic readers, it is simply the letter “n”.
    As for making fun of religions, I apologise if you were offended. It was not the intention. But please remember that this is a campaign running in an Arab country in the Middle East, I didn’t invent it.
    I liked this campaign for two reasons:
    a) typography
    b) worthy cause
    I’m sorry but this post is here to stay.

    Cheers,

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  6. Aha methinks that the 'fundamentalism' of one of our favourite anonymous commenter/s is coming to the fore. Schizophrenia to crack!
    Wjitha
    I think it's sad that idea/campaigns alike this seems to be slowly and surely freezing out of our Paradise Isle. No offense meant to none but I do wonder what people like Rushan, Russell, David, Subhash to name a few are doing?

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  7. That is a very daring approach! Although like you said, I guess that's the best way to get attention. I'm glad the society's managed to overcome social taboos enough to highlight an issue that affects so many people. I hope it encourages more women to take better care of themselves.

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  8. *nods in agreement with DD*
    DD, is it complacency setting in at the high places? Anywhere else in the world, even the top creatives get fired if they are not on their toes all the time, pushing the boundaries. But here in paradise, one never gets fired – people are there to stay. They seem to be quite ok producing mediocre work and no one seems to be complaining...

    Pseudo, the world is changing except for some fundamental extremists. Hope the women in the Arab world get the freedom to do a bit more than a self examination in the coming years, eh? ;)

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  9. Haha! And I almost thought this was one of those "boys only" posts! Oh well...seems they are getting the attention of people, and hopefully it creates the much needed awareness, as intended!

    INDY

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  10. I don't think the Lebanese are counted as Arab. Not sure what the exact cultural distinction is but it is the more southern states, UAE, Kuwait, Said Arabia that may be counted as Arab. The Syrians, Iranian, Lebanese, Algerians, Moroccans, Turks are not termed Arab.

    I have'nt figured it out yet, but since you have traveled in the area it may be worth exploring the exact identity of the Arab.

    The wiki gives a clue but not much

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_people

    http://www.al-bab.com/Arab/arabs.htm

    http://www.africa.upenn.edu/K-12/Who_16629.html

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  11. To the Muslim reader, I honestly fail to see why this should offend Muslims.

    Does the phrase "It is Time" have some other meaning that I am not aware of?

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  12. @Indy: Heh he he, I too thought of writing one of those “boys only posts” but then again, contained myself from getting carried away... ;)

    @JP: I think the most common “perception” is that the Arabs wear the head-gear and the other Muslims don’t. But then, Afghans also wear the head-gear - albeit differently - and we never think of them that way.

    We usually classify the region as the Gulf and the Lower-Gulf or refer to Lebanon, Jordan, Syria etc as the “Levant” region.

    All these countries are put together and called the Middle East. Are all the Middle Eastern countries Arab? There is no clear answer, but they are all Arab decedents. The only common thread that binds these people together is the religion.

    But then, the shiia’s hate the sunni’s.

    Morocco is part of North Africa and Turkey is now in European Union.

    The French Lebanese like to think they are European too.

    Every “Arab” country is divided to the core, based on their tribal heritage. So much so, the rest of the Saudi’s hate the Wahabi’s.

    I guess only the Israelis know best who are the Arabs and how far they are divided - that’s why that tiny country holds so much “power” over the “Arabs.”

    Very Interesting point JP. Food for thought indeed.

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  13. A unique campiagn for Breast Cancer. :D Yeah like Sabby said it has been the "bady boy of the Middle East"

    & Check this out.
    http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2008/12/sexy-syrian-lingerie-on-sale-in-souk.html

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  14. :D Thanks for the link. Imagine electronic music devices in your erotic underwear... LOL.

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  15. @Sue: I guess its the simplicity of the idea more than anything else.
    @Dee: Indeed, indeed. ;)

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  16. @ Muslim reader aka Taliban,

    Now pray tell me why you find this OFFENSIVE?
    First things first.
    1- Arabic is a language just like English. As such one need not get offended for every single arabic letter written on condoms, sanitary pads and yes T.Shirts. Its not Quranic verse. Well if a verse from Quran was portrayed in this manner your "OFFENSIVE" claims could well be justified. But its not.
    2- This is an Ad campaign. Ever heard of creativity?
    3- The campaign runs in an Arab country for the Arabs. Well if they aren't bothered, why should you?
    4- You can be nude, but still be a proper muslim, and still go to heaven. Did you know that? Islam is a flexible religion, don't make it complicated.
    5- If you still need a lecture on how flexible Islam is, well Islam does allow marrying Christians. Now how is that for a change? Read Quran. Well i'm married to one and its perfectly fine according to many Islamic scholars.
    6-Please READ QURAN without confusing people in online forums. Quran does have the medicine for all illnesses ! (Pun intended)

    That being said, @ JP,
    There's NO such thing as "Arab" in Islam. Its Man made. There's no division like Arabs, Chinese muslims, African muslims and Indo Pakistani muslims. There isn't even Sunni, Shia, Bohra and all that crap in Islam. All these sects are man made to say the least. There's only one, Muslim and Non-Muslim. Muslim is one who submits his will to God. It doesn't matter if he's Arab or not. And for your info, Arabs are assholes ! Serious. They are barbaric, brutal and not so civilized. Veddahs in Mahiyangana are way better ! So don't worry about these "Arabs". They aren't the benchmark for muslims let alone Islam !

    NB

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  17. NB, thank you for the enlightening comment.

    Yes, the divisions are all in our head - its only trouble when it comes out as action. ;)

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  18. intriguing, and certainly attention-grabbing. Yes, I finally closed down my other blog for real, but you can check out my new one here www.sharondstephen.blogspot.com :)

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  19. Caught my attention there! Interesting. I think i have learnt quite a bit about Lebanese now.

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  20. @hijinx: good luck with the new blog. ;)
    @Santhoshi: Enough of posts on Lebanon, I think I shall move on now. :D

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  21. @ NB
    Your logic sucks to say the least. I don't intend fighting with a misguided fool.

    @ Serendib Isle
    Your wish. Your blog. But i still think you're being crappy here. Just as much as you can decide what to post, I too can decide what to read. So you're gone from my Google reader with this post. Sorry pal, but this is it. Thanks for all the good reads though.

    Aamina ( aka Muslim reader )

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