Top 50 Women launches Memorial Award in honour of late charity icon Anissa Hassouna

The Top 50 Women Forum has announced on Sunday a new humanitarian award to commemorate late Egyptian charity icon Anissa Hassouna.

Hassouna, founder of Al Nas Hospital (People’s Hospital for children), a former member of the Egyptian Parliament, and former Executive Director at the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation, died after a fierce battle with cancer on 13 March at the age of 69.

Born to a former Minister of Justice, public service used to run in Hassouna’s blood during her lifetime, she tirelessly used as an MP to raise awareness about cancer and to amend a medical insurance law to provide free medical checkups for women who cannot afford it.

At Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation, Hassouna facilitated its establishment as a leading medical establishment for cardiac treatment in Egypt that provides free of charge medical services. Her success and impact during her post made her listed among the World’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women by Arabian Business Magazine.

In 2016, Hassouna was appointed by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to a newly-formed Egyptian Parliament. As a member of Parliament, Hassouna had played a significant role in advocating for human rights laws. She urged for more women’s rights and opportunities, children’s rights, and environmental law. ً

When advocating for free playgrounds for children, she said: “I want children to be happy. I have made a request to parliament to task district heads to create children’s playgrounds in every district with basic, free plastic toys.”

In 2017, Hassouna published her best-selling memoir Bedoon Sabeq Enzar (Without Prior Warning) in which she documented her battle against cancer. The book has been an inspiration to cancer patients, particularly women across the Middle East, in finding motivation and self-love despite struggling with health and changes in appearance while receiving treatment.

Hassouna had been serving as a source of strength for cancer patients as she balanced life with the disease.

She studied Political Science and Economics at Cairo University.

The winners of Anissa Hassouna Award will be announced during Amwal Al Ghad’s 7th Awards Ceremony, which will take place on March 26 under the auspices of Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly.

“The Award is to commemorate Hassouna’s distinctive footprint in spreading patriot, community service, and humanitarian values in Egypt. We will target figures with exceptional contributions in charity and humanitarian work.” said Top 50 Women Forum’s chairperson and founder Dina Abdel Fattah.

“On remembering Hassouna, we want to instill the love of giving and encourage more interactive participation to serve community and nation.” Abdel Fattah added.

She further said that the award aims to promote humanitarian work and shed the light on their icons.

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