Photos: Egypt's Actress Yousra named AIDS' Goodwill Ambassador for UN

Ahram Online , Tuesday 2 Feb 2016

Egyptian actress Yousra aims to raise Mideast AIDS awareness

Yousra UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador
(Photo: Ayman Brayz/AlAhram)

Egyptian film star Yousra has taken up a role with the United Nations to help combat HIV and AIDS in the Middle East.

In a ceremony held Monday at the Mariott Hotel in Cairo, she was named U.N. Goodwill Ambassador.

In an interview with Ahram Arabic, the actress said this was one of the best moments in her life and a gift from God to be given this space to give and help on a humanitarian level.

“The support and trust given to me are what keep me strong. I will work tirelessly to help the thousands affected by the disease,” she said.

The actress added that despite the percentage of the virus spread being relatively low in the region compared to other areas in the world, the increase is worth our concern. As Such she called to doubling efforts on all levels, pointing that the medicine is available but the patient’s fear from stigma is what stops them seeking it.

According to AP, Some 240,000 people live with HIV in the Middle East and North Africa, a region facing a worsening refugee crisis, rising inequality, several humanitarian emergencies and discriminatory laws.

New cases of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, rose 26 percent in the region between 2000 and 2014, the United Nations says, making MENA one of the areas where it's growing the fastest.

Reported by Ahram Arabic, Minister of Culture Helmy El-Namnam attended the ceremony, and in a speech said “We are celebrating Yousra as a great actress, I have followed all her works, and she is fighting for an important issue.”

 “It is a special occasion when Yousra is Goodwill Ambassador. This is the only program concerned with AIDS and 11 organisations of the Un are involved in it,” said Jan Beagel, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director and Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations said adding that AIDS is a case of humans rights and especially those of women.

Sahar Nasr, Egyptian minister of International Cooperation added that “The media plays an important role in spreading awareness, and the goal in facing this disease is ending it by 2030.”

Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady, minister of Health and Housing pointed that “Doctors’ perception of this disease is embodied in their fear from it. Surgeons are afraid to operate on AIDS victims.”

For her part, Ghada Wali, minister of Social Solidarity commented that “It is beautiful to be an artist and fighting for a cause. Yousra was behind many development projects such as removing mines from the north coast and others. She chose to capitalize on the people’s love for her to make their lives better, not only in Egypt but the Arab world.”

Nabil Araby, Secretary General of the Arab League, “Yousra is concerned with public issues, and has been successful in many of the issues she diverted her attention to.” He further expressed his trust that the actress will have an effective role in combating the disease, and that the 2030 goal will be achieved.

yousra UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador
(Photo: Ayman Brayz/AlAhram)

yousra UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador
(Photo: Ayman Brayz/AlAhram)

yousra UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador
(Photo: Ayman Brayz/AlAhram)

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