Doha, QATAR – His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, has donated QAR10 million (US$2.7 million) and the Heir Apparent His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has contributed QAR5 million (US$1.4 million) to the ‘Reach Out To Asia’ charity campaign.
The donations have helped give the charity fund a huge boost just weeks after its official launch to raise money for the underprivileged and disadvantaged across Asia.
Speaking at a press conference in Doha ahead of tonight’s gala dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Doha to launch the ‘Reach Out’ campaign, Qatar Foundation vice-president administration Rashid Al-Naimi said the ruling family of the State of Qatar had made significant donations towards a worthy cause.
Qatar Foundation, Qatar Airways and the Doha Asian Games Organising Committee (DAGOC) are driving the ‘Reach Out To Asia’ campaign over the next few weeks, months and years to come. The campaign is a 10-year initiative which will support worthy causes around the world – but focusing initially on the Asian continent.
International rock star Bryan Adams, who is lending his full support to the campaign, expressed delight that US$270,000 had been raised from the auction of an electric guitar signed by 20 music legends from the world of rock and pop in aid of those in need.
Also addressing the press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Doha this morning, the Canadian singer said that the white Stratocaster donated by instrument specialist Fender, was auctioned off earlier this year.
Proceeds from the guitar, shown by Adams at the media briefing, will go towards building a new school in Thailand, one of the countries affected by last year’s tsunami last December.
Adams, a long-term champion of worthy charitable causes, was personally moved by the tsunami which left more than 200,000 people dead. As a result, he initiated a campaign to get a guitar signed by music stars for an auction, with the money used towards the tsunami relief efforts.
Over the past few months, the guitar has been signed by music legends – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Brian May, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Pete Townsend, Mark Knopfler, Ray Davis, Liam Gallagher, Ronnie Wood, Tony Iommi, Angus and Malcolm Young from AC/DC, Paul McCartney, Sting, Ritchie Blackmore, Def Leppard and Bryan Adams himself.
Adams said: “The guitar has been an exciting project and many of the greatest names in the music world have signed this wonderful instrument. I will be donating the money to the tsunami victims and I am extremely delighted to be able to also support the efforts of those involved in the ‘Reach Out To Asia’ campaign.”
The gala dinner tonight, at which the guitar will be showcased, will be attended by a host of celebrities and dignitaries from the world of sport, showbusiness, politics and Royalty.
The dinner is being held under the patronage of The Heir Apparent His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani – who is also Chairman of the Asian Games – and Her Excellency Sheikha Jawaher bint Hamad bin Sohaim Al Thani. ‘Reach Out To Asia’ has been spearheaded by Her Highness Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, daughter of the Emir of Qatar.
Rashid Al-Naimi, of Qatar Foundation, said: “The campaign is a 10-year fund, in which ‘Reach Out’ will help those in need in different parts of the world. We are focusing our efforts over the next 12 months on the Asian continent – and, in particular, helping those trying to rebuild their lives shattered by last year’s tsunami and the recent earthquake in Pakistan and India.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said that the airline had a history of being a committed and staunch supporter of charitable causes.
“We are proud to have joined forces with Qatar Foundation – a visionary body that advocates education and is committed to social causes. By taking these key steps to form a united front, we are today hoping we can do something to make a real difference to people across Asia.
“This united effort will bring the best out of us as all as we push towards making Reach Out To Asia the biggest charity drive ever seen in Qatar and indeed, in the Middle East.”
Al Baker explained that the airline had airlifted more than 100,000 tonnes of aid for relief efforts in recent years – and 400 tonnes of aid alone to Pakistan in the aftermath of the recent devastating earthquake.
Qatar Airways, the official partner of the Asian Games Doha 2006, operates more than one-third of its flights to Asia. Through ‘Reach Out To Asia’ Qatar Airways is demonstrating its social commitment to give back to the many communities of the countries it serves.
Doha Asian Games Organising Committee Director-General Abdulla Khalid Al Qahtani, added that the focus on Asia was never more prevalent than now as Qatar will host the next Asian Games in 12 months’ time.
He said that DAGOC was lending its full support to the charity that would help put Qatar on the global map as a country which extends its friendship to those in need.
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
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