As IBE completes the creation of its regional structures, the Election Task Force would like to thank all those Full Members in the region who nominated candidates and balloted in the elections to fill the positions of Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary of the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Executive Committee.
Balloting was completed earlier this year when the following were successfully elected:
- Chair: Mrs Manar Sawan, Lebanon
- Vice Chair: Dr Muhammed Aldossari, Saudi Arabia
- Secretary: Prof Najib Kissani, Morocco
IBE has seven Full Members in the region:
- Egyptian Epilepsy Association, Egypt
- Iranian Epilepsy Association, Iran
- Association of Care of People with Epilepsy, Lebanon
- Association Marocaine contre l’Epilepsie, Morocco
- FLAME, Pakistan
- Epilepsy Support and Information Centre, Saudi Arabia
- Tunisian Epilepsy Association, Tunisia
Meet the New Chair
Mrs Manar Khalik Sawan
Manak Khalik Sawan was born in 1962. She is Lebanese and married with two children, Aya (21 years old) and Araf (17 years old).
She graduated as a nurse from A.U.B. University in Beirut in 1983 and worked as a chief nurse in a hospital. She stopped working when her daughter Aya was diagnosed with epilepsy after an accident. Her daughter’s condition pushed her to create a foundation that looks after and helps people with epilepsy and their families. A principal focus of the foundation is to let people with epilepsy engage in social work through involvement in many special activities – this includes handmade work such as beautifully designed floor rugs. These have been exhibited in many private schools in Saida.
Many people with epilepsy, including Mrs Sawan’s own daughter, face inequality in Lebanon. They are alienated by many people which causes harsh social pressure. One of the reasons Mrs Sawan allowed her nomination to go forward was the negative image people have of epilepsy. She is a believer in the necessity for change and to help those in need, she has worked to find a way to obtain medicine and cheap or low prices for them. Mrs Sawan has participated in a TV program to present her experiences with the illness.
Mrs Sawan has attended two IBE conferences, the first in Morocco and the second in France, where the Lebanese association’s IBE membership application was ratified by the General Assembly.