Saudi Arabian Activist Princess Reema Takes on Breast Cancer Awareness With More Social Media

Launches Instagram and Twitter accounts to boost response

During a keynote today at South by Southwest, Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al-Saud, the Saudi Arabian entrepreneur, activist and CEO of luxury retail Alfa Intl., launched a new campaign that will rely heavily on social and mobile media to spread the word.

The initiative is dubbed 10KSA and is part of Zahra Breast Cancer Association, Princess Reema's fundraising organization. On Oct. 24, 10KSA aims to bring 10,000 women together to form a human pink ribbon.

This year's campaign builds on a similar endeavor in 2010 that broke a Guinness World Record for the most women to gather in a single location at once. In 2010, text messaging, Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and Facebook were the main ways that the movement got out the word. But a quick glance at this year's website shows that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will all be used this year. The org's marketing team opened its Instagram account in time to promote its SXSW presence. (See an early post below.)


#10KSA #ask10KSA #SXSW2015 @sxsw

A photo posted by @join10ksa on

The movement this fall hopes to bring together 10,000 women, a significant step up from the 3,952 women that it attracted in 2010. And indeed, the new social platforms could give the campaign a much wider reach.

Compared to other countries, Princess Reema said that breast cancer detection is often detected later in deadlier stages, giving it a different stereotype than it has elsewhere.

"The reality that they see is they catch it at stage three and four, so all they see are women in pain, losing their hair," Princess Reema said. "What they see versus what [10KSA says are] two different realities, so how do we take this conversation of breast cancer, kick it up to be a mainstream conversation so we can get women catching themselves."

To kick off the campaign this afternoon, an installation of pink wings has been set up outside of the Austin Convention Center.

"We want to be a benchmark for how do we do an event like this or any event extremely well where we have a lasting impact—it can't be just about breaking the record," Princess Reema said.

Lastly, check out a few of the tweets about 10KSA.