March is Heartsaver Month in Middle East & North Africa

Each March is Heartsaver Month in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region. Heartsaver Month, supported by the American Heart Association, is an annual month-long campaign designed to create awareness about cardiac arrest and to train more people in CPR within the MENA region.

Cardiac arrests can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. Immediate action by a bystander after a cardiac arrest can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.

CPR trainers within the MENA region proudly train thousands of people every year, helping people to save the lives of those around them. Take Elie Joseph Bu Assaf’s story for example.

In December, Elie, a young student in Beirut, was playing basketball at his university’s gym when he collapsed suddenly and wasn’t breathing. Bystanders Rabih Makouk, Elias Nghaywe and Yehia Shebab immediately rushed into action and administered CPR and shocks from an AED. Soon after, an ambulance arrived to take him to the hospital. Thanks to the quick thinking and action of these bystanders, Elie is recovering well and has a second chance at life.

Rabih, Elias and Yehia were all trained in the American Heart Association’s Heartsaver course prior to this event. Had they not received this training, this story could have had a vastly different outcome.

Last year the American Heart Association trained nearly 150,000 people in CPR within the MENA region, equipping them with the tools to recognize and react in a cardiac arrest emergency, just like in Elie’s story.

For more information on CPR, visit All tools and materials to help plan activities and spread the message can be accessed online in English and Arabic.

Learn the steps to perform Hands-Only CPR in 60 seconds with this video that shows Hands-Only CPR in action