Laura Bush in Saudi Arabia to promote breast cancer awareness

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Laura Bush talks with Dr. Huda Abdulkareem, Head of the Hematology/Oncology Unit at King Khalid University Hospital, at the Abdullatif Cancer Screening Center Tuesday, October 23, 2007, in Riyadh.

United States First Lady Laura Bush was in Saudi Arabia today to promote breast cancer awareness. In the United States and other countries, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Today I'm delighted to launch the U.S.-Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research here in its birthplace: Saudi Arabia. Through this partnership, the Saudi Cancer Society will join with the Komen Foundation to conduct a comprehensive breast cancer education program. Saudi Arabia's medical expertise will be advanced through the collaboration between King Fahd Medical City and M.D. Anderson -- coordinated by Middle East Partnership Initiative, a project of the U.S. Department of State.
— Laura Bush, October 23, 2007, press conference in Riyadh

Bush, on her first visit to the Saudi kingdom, was greeted by Prince Faisal bin Abdullah, son of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and honorary president of the Saudi Cancer Society.

She also attended the signing the U.S.-Saudi Arabia Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research agreement at a crowded auditorium at the King Fahad Medical City. This new program "will help build lasting friendships between Saudis and Americans [and] give hope to women across the Middle East," according to Bush.

Saudi Arabia is the third country in the Middle East to join such a program. Other organizations involved include: Susan G. Komen for the Cure, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Laura Bush also visited with women affected by breast cancer at the Abdullatif Cancer Screening Center. "The cure for breast cancer can come from a researcher in Washington or a young doctor in Riyadh," she said.

Bush was scheduled to meet with King Abdullah in Jeddah later. The visit to Saudi Arabia is part of a four-nation tour, during which she visited the United Arab Emirates and will soon visit Kuwait and Jordan.