We All Need Compassion
For The Health Of It (FTHOI) is an annual event hosted by the Faculty of Health Professions, Medicine, and Dentistry at Dalhousie University. The event, which has been held for more than 30 years, raises funds for various charities.

The last event was held on Saturday, November 26th, and the chosen charity was Mobile Outreach Street Health, or MOSH, which provides “primary health care services to people who are homeless, insecurely housed, street involved or underserved in our community.”

The event featured a variety of competitive, educational, and interdisciplinary comedy skits performed by students from the university’s eight Health Professions: Dentistry, Health Sciences, Human Communication Disorders, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, and Physiotherapy.

This year, a third year dentistry student from Kuwait, Danah Al-Radhan, is fueling her passion for filmmaking to create a film centered on the work that MOSH does in the community. Danah hopes her film can help raise awareness and donations for the charity.

This is not Danah’s first run at filmmaking. Back in 2012, she was chosen, from a selection of 50 finalists, the winner of the Canadian Bureau of International Education’s Photo and Video Contest for her three-minute comedic film detailing her process of adapting to life in Canada.

“Before going into dentistry, I was always interested in social awareness and trying to make the world a better place,” said Danah. “What I love about film is that it is accessible. You can reach everyone.”

For this film, Danah began by contacting Patti Melanson, team lead at MOSH. According to Danah, Patti “suggesting approaching it from the perspective of an international student. It was a great way to introduce the charity.”

So, Danah started researching, writing and filming, all while working in the dental clinic and attending classes, not to mention studying for exams and assessments. To help her, Danah enlisted three friends from dentistry to assist with filming.

In the process, Danah and her team, Inam Syed, Ahmad Al Masri, and Wael Hassan, visited MOSH’s mobile clinic. While there, she interviewed registered nurse Rick Swayne, as well as several of street-involved people he looks after.

“I found that people wanted to be heard and for me to share their stories,” said Danah. “I learned so much by stepping into the shoes of these people and seeing things from their perspective.” This influenced her style of filmmaking. “That’s why the camera is down so low,” she says. “When I filmed Steven, who plays the violin on Spring Garden Road, the camera was literally at his feet.”

The stories Danah heard from some of the homeless and street involved patients she met were both surprising and inspiring, and Danah was moved by the enthusiasm and compassion displayed by individuals like Patti Melanson and Rick Swayne. “I was inspired by the humanity I was seeing,” said Danah. “And that’s why I called the film ‘We All Need Compassion’. [The people] inspired me to want to show the great work they do.”

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Posted by: DSR
Monday, January 2, 2017
Tag: Dental
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