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    Media Centre

    Msheireb Museums and Sidra Medicine Hold Second Science Cafe Event in Support of World Autism Month

    Doha, Qatar – April 23, 2024

    Msheireb Museums and Sidra Medicine held the second edition of the Science Cafe series on April 22, 2024, at the Bin Jelmood House, focusing on topics related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in recognition of World Autism Month. Titled “Managing the Puzzle: Autism Research, Inclusion, and Life Skills,” the event explored critical topics shaping the healthcare landscape concerning ASD diagnosis and management with a focus on a holistic, person-centric approach.

    Fahad Al Turky, Manager of Exhibitions and Programmes at Msheireb Museums shared his thoughts after the event: “We are delighted to have partnered with Sidra Medicine once again to host an engaging and informative Science Cafe session. This event was a wonderful opportunity to increase our understanding of what it’s like to live with Autism, and to appreciate the efforts that are being made towards research in this area.”

    The event brought together a diverse array of insightful speakers, including presentations from Sidra Medicine’s Sr. Attending Pediatrician Dr. Madeeha Kamal who discussed ASD management, and Dr. Aljazi Almarghi who shared the latest ASD research. Ms. Breegeen Doherty, Head of Inclusion at The Hamilton International School, focused on education inclusion, and Mr. Ryan Moignard, Qatar Foundation’s Senior ASD/Special Needs Football Specialist and Coach, discussed insights from the Ability Friendly Programme. Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Life Skills HUB Ms. Nicole Alexander covered life skills development for people with ASD, while Certified Autism Specialist Mrs. Noora Al-Eida represented the Autism Parents Platform.

    In addition to hearing from clinical experts, attendees had a valuable opportunity to hear from a person living with autism, who shared their powerful story and commented on the impressive strides Qatar has made in addressing the needs of people with ASD.

    Dr. Sahar Da’as, Research Manager at Sidra Medicine, who was instrumental in launching Sidra Medicine’s Science Café initiative said: “I am proud of the work we have done as a community, along with our partner Msheireb Museums, to host the second Science Café on autism. As a parent of a child with autism, this topic holds a special place in my heart. Sidra Medicine is leading the way in ASD research and care in the region, making it one of the first hospitals in the GCC with an Autism Friendly initiative and the first to conduct a Middle Eastern based genetic study. I am inspired by the progress, healthcare and inclusive services available for children and families with ASD in Qatar. We hope that our collaborative efforts will contribute towards a deeper understanding of the condition.”

    By convening researchers, healthcare professionals, and people with first-hand experiences, the event embodied one of the museum’s goals: to serve as a space for dialogue and discussion on the latest developments in precision health and to empower visitors with knowledge about healthy living.

    Msheireb Museums and Sidra Medicine will continue to host the Science Cafe event series over the coming months to explore pivotal topics that raise awareness and spark curiosity, serving as a platform for discussions that explore social and health issues important to the community.