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Upcoming WISH Events Use Art To Spotlight Key Healthcare Issues

Giles Duley seen while photographing refugees and migrants waiting at the Idomeni transit station to cross in to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

This year, the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) will be using art as an innovative way to put various healthcare issues in the spotlight, and to promote discussions on topics including mental health, disability and substance abuse. This will be done via a range of dedicated exhibitions and sessions during the upcoming WISH 2022 summit on October 4-6, and throughout Doha Healthcare Week (DHW), a week prior to the summit.

DHW is an event hosted by WISH in partnership with local and international stakeholders, aimed at engaging Qatar’s local community by offering a wide range of health and wellness activities for all age groups. DHW 2022 runs from September 29 – October 3, and the full program can be seen HERE.

As part of the DHW, Doha Film Institute will screen the award-winning inspiring film The Reason I Jump by Jerry Rothwell, at Qatar Foundation (QF) Recreation Center Theater on September 29 at 6pm. The film seeks to raise awareness and increase understanding and acceptance of autism, among members of the public.

Naufar – the local rehabilitation center for substance abuse and addiction – will deliver art therapy workshops and awareness sessions at Qatar National Library. An exhibit at the Primary Health Care Corporation – run QF Clinic will also showcase paintings made by Naufar’s patients in recovery.

Two exhibitions will take place at the Fire Station – a photo exhibit highlighting disabilities by Mahmoud El Achi, Head of Innovation at WISH, and a painting highlighting the significance of mental health created by the Colombian-born artist Dairo Vargas during WISH 2018 summit. Both exhibitions will be open from September 29 to October 7.

“We know that art in its various forms plays a critical role in health promotion. This medium is already being applied in numerous strategies in the treatment of traumas, addictions, and various mental disorders. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that the creation and enjoyment of the arts helps promote holistic wellness and can be a motivating factor in recovery. As a global community, WISH is the perfect platform to discuss, cultivate and communicate the health benefits of art so we can create well-rounded solutions to some of the most pressing health challenges,” said Sultana Adfhal, CEO of WISH.

Vargas, who has had his work shown at the Royal Academy of Arts twice, and is famous for including the audience in the painting process, will be returning to Qatar this year to create a live painting at WISH 2022 around the themes of sport, health and self-care.

During the three days of the summit, a multimedia exhibition titled The History and Legacy of Islamic Medicine curated by Faras AlMeer, Research Officer at WISH, will showcase antiques, replicas, artwork and written articles to give a snapshot of the Islamic world’s legacy and contributions to the history of medicine.

WISH 2022 will also launch two photography exhibitions by Giles Duley, a British humanitarian photographer who has dedicated his life to capturing the impact of war on people. The first captures the stories and plight of Ukrainian people in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, while the second showcases the communities that have been built by Rwandan women to create a supportive environment from a mental health perspective.

WISH is Qatar Foundation’s global health initiative. To register your interest in attending the upcoming WISH 2022 summit, visit

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