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Reach Out To Asia Charity Helps Earthquake Victims

Doha, QATAR – The ‘Reach Out To Asia’ charity initiative takes its first steps to help the underprivileged across Asia with a special charter flight heading for Pakistan next week carrying much-needed aid for victims of October’s devastating earthquake.

Much-needed blankets will be flown from Doha, capital of Qatar, to Pakistan for distribution across the northeast region in what is a desperate race against time for survival for locals as the winter weather sets in.

Tens of thousands of families have been left homeless following the strongest ever tremor in the region seven weeks ago that caused the deaths of almost 90,000 people. Volunteers from around the world have since flocked to Pakistan to assist in the relief efforts. Aid agencies are extremely worried about further loss of life from exposure to the cold mountainous weather.

Her Excellency Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, daughter of the Emir of Qatar, will be heading a delegation of officials from ‘Reach Out To Asia’ and other Qatar-based charities on the special flight to Pakistan on December 16.

She will be personally distributing aid in some of the worst-hit areas and holding talks with government officials and education authorities on the rebuilding efforts of the country.

Sheikha Mayassa has been spearheading the ‘Reach Out To Asia’ campaign, a long-term initiative, that kicked off last month with a fund-raising star-studded gala auction dinner in Doha which raised QAR 40 million (US$10.7million) for the charity.

Qatar Foundation, Qatar Airways and the Doha Asian Games Organising Committee (DAGOC) have backed the campaign which is a 10-year initiative that aims to support worthy causes around the world – but focusing initially on the Asian continent.

“Reach Out To Asia was launched as a concept in September. Since then more than QAR 70million (US$20million) has been raised through individual donations and a charity auction which is an incredible figure considering the birth of the charity just a few weeks ago,” said Sheikha Mayassa.

“We are now gaining momentum and using the money raised in a practical manner for a very worthy cause. I would like to extend my thanks to all those who have supported Reach Out To Asia and assure them that the money is being spent wisely and effectively.

“The people of the worst-hit areas from the earthquake in Pakistan are desperately in need of blankets because winter is setting and keeping them warm is the utmost priority.”

Anyone wishing to donate blankets to the cause can contact Qatar Red Crescent, Qatar Charitable Association, Sheikh Jabor bin Jassim Al Thani or The Eid Charity in Qatar.

The November 16 ‘Reach Out To Asia’ charity auction dinner, plus individual donations on the night in Doha, raised QAR 40million (US$10.7million). The glittering bash was attended by a more than 500 guests, including former US President Bill Clinton, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, former gymnast and Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comeneci and Canadian rock star Bryan Adams.

An electric guitar signed by Bryan Adams and a host of music legends raised a world record QAR 10million (US$2.7million) for ‘Reach Out To Asia’. The guitar had been re-auctioned after a member of Qatar’s ruling family bought the instrument earlier this year, paying US$270,000 for Adams’ own appeal launched in January for victims of last year’s tsunami disaster in southeast Asia.

Donations to ‘Reach Out To Asia’ the charity can be made by individuals, companies and organisations to the following account: -

Qatar National Bank
The Reach Out Fund
Account Number 0035-004919-001
Tel: (974) 440-7407
Fax: (974) 441-5020

Doha-based Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2013 – almost double the existing size. Qatar Airways has ordered 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter having started in November 2007. The airline is a launch customer of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five aircraft on order and scheduled for delivery from 2010. Qatar Airways moves to the New Doha International Airport in 2010, when the first phase of the new facility opens. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com

Qatar Airways is one of only six airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking for service and excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as Best in the Middle East for the fifth year running in 2007 following a survey of more than 15 million passengers worldwide. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com

Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa

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