Scaling the heights to fight breast cancer

BREAST cancer is a serious threat to the lives of countless women living in the United Arab Emirates and throughout the world and it has been determined that many lives are lost because the disease is not detected at an early treatable stage.

By Focus On Al Ain By Jgc

Published: Mon 21 Apr 2003, 12:59 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 9:59 PM

As a contribution towards solving the problem, 18 women from throughout the UAE are contributing to a major fundraising and awareness programme.

On Thursday, April 24, they will embark on an 18-day trek to Everest Base Camp, climbing in the process to an altitude of 18,000 feet. All the money raised by this sponsored endeavour will go towards the provision of a Mobile Breast Screening Unit, which will be based at Tawam Hospital.

Three nurses from Tawam - Sue Aiken, Gillian Williamson and Kate Strike - will carry the flag for Al Ain.

The planned Mobile Breast Screening Unit will allow screening to be taken to car parks, shopping malls and, perhaps most importantly, into the rural areas of the countries, where many women find access to health care a bit difficult. Any donations to this worthy cause is welcome and contributions, great and small, should be sent directly to the Finance Department of Tawam Hospital Al Ain.

Chaine des Rotisseurs

THE annual general meeting of the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs was held at the Al Ain Rotana Hotel last week. Twenty-five members were present to hear Garden City Bailli DŽlŽguŽ Mike Brannon's report. New members to the Executive Committee were welcomed, viz treasurer Debbie Jackson, and Conseiller Gastronomique Kym Maunton.

A major topic of discussion was what initiatives could be put in place to increase the membership of the Chaine in Al Ain. The desire is to open the opportunity of experiencing fine dining to more residents of the Capital of the Eastern Region.

Dinners are held on a rotational basis at the Rotana, the Hilton and the Inter-Continental hotels, and it is fortunate that Al Ain is richly endowed with young and talented chefs who produce superlative dinners one after the other.

Mike Brannon advised, however, that the committee, while considering accepting new members, should keep in mind the optimum number of attendees at each individual dinner. Beyond a total of 50 it becomes difficult for the hotels to maintain the highest standard of cuisine and service to which the Chaine is dedicated.

In former times, part of the membership fee for the Chaine has been utilised to support of an orphanage in Paris. The status of this charitable cause is currently uncertain, however, members at the AGM were unanimous in voting a donation of Dh1,000 to the Red Crescent Society for the children of Iraq.

The AGM was followed by an elegant supper buffet organised by Rotana Executive Chef Christian who, like his colleagues in the other hotels in Al Ain, has expressed a keen interest in supporting the Chaine.

On Wednesday, the monthly Chaine Dinner was held in the Wok Restaurant of the Inter-Continental Hotel. Executive Chef Simon Penhaligan put together a typically innovative menu, the highlights of which for me were the two starters Singapore roasted duck risotto with Teriyaki foie gras and Tatsoi salad followed by carrot and kaffir lime leaf soup with lobster and asparagus cannelloni draped in coconut cream.

The spicy tempered potatoes, which accompanied the fillet of beef caused some warm discussion, but really the only contentious item was the scarcity of custard sauce served with the warm chocolate cake.

The critique was delivered in his own inimitable style by former resident and now Abu Dhabi- based Greg Papworth. It was noteworthy that Greg with his wife Maree led a delegation of 12 gourmets from the nation's capital who stayed overnight at the hotel. Their welcome attendance increased the number of guests on this occasion to a highly satisfactory 52.

The timing of the dinner, a Wednesday, rather than the normal Sunday, probably did a great deal to help achieve this total, a fact that undoubtedly did not go unnoticed either by the Chaine Committee or by the representatives of the various hotels in attendance.

Down memory lane

OLDER residents of the Garden City will remember Popal and his family who were associated with the Inter-Continental Hotel in the early and mid-eighties. Last week the eldest son Mustafa Popal, former student at the Al Ain English Speaking School, returned for a surprise visit. Mustafa left the school in 1987 and with his family set up residence in the United States where his father is now an executive for Honda.

Graduating from colleges in Virginia and Boston, Mustafa is now with the Defense Department of the United States, where as an assistant to Secretary Donald Rumsfeld he occupies the position of Pentagon Director for Afghanistan. Among the few staff left from Mustafa's days at the school, Ms Yusra Amareen, Head of Arabic, and the Principal, James Crawford, were happy to reminisce with their former student.

Next day at the English Curriculum School, the first year students put on a performance for fellow pupils, parents and guests. This is a tradition at the school and there are performances by all classes at regular intervals throughout the year.

The programme was about the "Reluctant Chameleon" and every one of the participants and audience enjoyed a lovely performance. Year 1 teachers are: Mrs Allen and Miss Samantha Hazle. The latter been involved with a sun awareness initiative at the school. At the Year 1 assembly she awarded prizes to the winners of the most innovative sun hat designs from the primary department.

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