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Beirut.com 05 Jun 2012

Toufoula Fundraising Auction at Mark Hachem Gallery

Toufoula is a non-governmental organization founded in 2006 with the aim of bringing hope and happiness into the lives of children suffering from cancer and blood diseases.

A few months after it saw the light, the NGO launched the “Dream Rooms” project whereby pediatric rooms occupied by the children throughout their treatment are refurbished to help them sustain through weeks and months of treatment and confined stay. To their physical suffering, one adds the initial shock of learning about the disease and the drastic change to daily routines, starting by a detachment from home and a change of rooms.

If considered tremendously difficult for an adult, then how unbearable must it be for a young child?

This is why Toufoula decided to add color into the lives of children with cancer and redefine the design of the gloomy and dull hospital rooms on pediatric floors. The NGO asked sick children to define their idea of a “dream room”.

“My dream room is a room where I feel i am standing by the sea, …
I want to feel that i am flying, …
I want to touch the sky, …”

Each concept was thereafter designed by extremely talented designers, architects, and fashion designers who reflected the children’s wishes and turned them into reality.

To date, 37 rooms in 4 different hospitals have been refurbished: Makassed, Hotel Dieu, Rafic Hariri, Zahra’, Notre Dame de Secours, University Hospital, and the Geitaoui-Lebanese Hospital.

There is yet a long way to go but the NGO’s determination is immutable and will only dim after all pediatric floors in Lebanese hospitals have been refurbished. Every sick child would then learn to bear the treatment in a cozier atmosphere and armed with optimism and joy procured by the rooms.

As part of its fundraising campaigns, Toufoula, together with the Mark Hachem Gallery, organized an art auction on the 5th of June 2012, the proceeds of which will partly go to the execution of new Dream Rooms. Thirty-two pieces by thirty-two artists were auctioned: Jesus Raphael Soto, Joe Kesrouani, Kashida, Daisy Abi Jaber, Fady Chamaa, Farouk Muhammad, George Merheb, Ghassan Abou Jaoude, Ginou Choueiri, Hala Dabaji, Hiba Kalache, Imad Fakhry, Lamia Joreige, Leila Chalabi, Leila Jureidini, Mary-Lynn Massoud & Rasha Nawam, Mauro Corda, Mona Trad Dabaji, Nada Debs, Nada Hobeiche, Ramy Boutros, Randa Ali Ahmad, Roger Moukarzel, Sabhan Adam, Samer Mohdad, Shafik Eshtai, Wissam Beydoun, Zena Assi, and Ziad Antar. The event took place at the Mark Hachem Gallery, Beirut, and was hosted by radio presenter Dan Harper as the auctioneer and Maxime Chaya as the guest of honor. This “Auction night for a better tomorrow” is the first organized by Toufoula, and was sponsored by Jammal Trust bank, Rymco, Sukleen, and Domaine des Tourelles. Pieces auctioned during the event are available on www.toufoula.org/auction. Interested buyers can visit the website and contact the NGO for any additional information. Of utmost elegance, Art is another way to raise hope and bring light and joy into the lives of children with cancer. It brings another chance for sick children to live in a joyful environment while on their way to recovery.