Doha — Qatar Foundation, Qatar Airways and the Doha Asian Games Organising Committee have teamed up, under the auspices of Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, to launch “Reach Out To Asia”, a relief campaign established to respond to needs of the underprivileged across Asia.
Canadian rock star Bryan Adams will kick off the campaign on November 16 when he appears as guest of honour at an exclusive charity gala dinner, dedicated to the victims of last year’s tsunami disaster, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Doha. The charity dinner will take place under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, chairperson of the Asian Games, and will be attended by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, and his wife, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned.
In the year following the charity gala dinner, a series of high-profile charity concerts featuring some of the world’s leading international artists will take place in Qatar, drawing a focus on other pressing social issues, such as HIV, blindness and poverty.
The first concert will feature Bryan Adams on February 1, 2006 at the Doha Sheraton.
“Reach Out To Asia” will also involve children of all ages and nationalities from schools and colleges across the State of Qatar, as they will also organise charity fund-raisers.
Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani urges and encourages the participation of all individuals in the effort to improve their own communities and assist poor societies in Asia. Announcing the initiative at a press conference today, Sheikha Mayassa said “Reach Out To Asia” would raise millions of Qatari riyals for worthy causes across Asia.
“Qatar Foundation wants to expand the work of the community in areas of great concern, such as education, social welfare and the improvement of human conditions,” she explained. ”It is essential that we give back to our communities and help those who are in need.”
In the run-up to the 15th Asian Games, being held in Doha in December 2006, Qatar Foundation and its partners are extending the hand of friendship and help to the many countries across Asia which have, and still are, experiencing serious social difficulties in terms of poverty, inadequate healthcare, homelessness, disease and natural disasters, such as last year’s devastating tsunami.
“Reach Out To Asia” is the best way to show compassion to the 44 participating countries in the Asian Games, and to encourage the involvement of the Qatari community for Doha’s largest sporting event, Sheikha Mayassa explained.
“We can only abolish poverty and human suffering by working together — as a strong and united community,” she said. “I also realise that there are poor communities in Doha, and there will be funds allocated for these communities.”
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the airline was honoured to be involved in such an important charity initiative that will attract some of the biggest names in the music industry to Doha next year.
“It is extremely pleasing to see three key partners driving this important cause, and we expect other companies and groups to join us for what promises to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, charity drive ever seen in Qatar and indeed in the Middle East,” he said.
Qatar Airways operates an extensive network of flights to destinations around the world, with Asia a key region.
“We acknowledge there is hardship in parts of Asia and as an airline that has, and continues to, provide support to the economies of the region with direct flights, we feel it a social responsibility to help those in need,” Al Baker said. “Qatar Airways will be doing its bit to support this important campaign, which will not be confined to just one cause, but several.”
Al Baker described a recent Qatar Airways fund-raising initiative to help rebuild a fishing village in Sri Lanka that was devastated by the tsunami last December.
“I am proud to say that the home-building is now complete and villagers have been able to move back into their homes,” he said.
“Reach Out To Asia” will be run and managed by Qatar Foundation, in line with the Foundation’s mission to promote education, science and community development in Qatar.
“It is our duty as human citizens to protect and help the future generations,” Sheikha Mayassa said.
Mr. Abdulla Khalid Al Qahtani, Director General, DAGOC, explained: “From this land, Doha is taking a giant step lending a hand to the people of Asia through the “Reach Out To Asia” initiative. We are proud to be part of this initiative unifying the people of Asia through the spirit of the Games, which is about respect, passion, and above all; peace achieved through sportsmanship and brotherhood.
“Throughout the build-up towards holding the Games in December 2006, the Doha Asian Games Organising Committee will do its best to support the initiative through its Asian Games publicity campaigns addressing all the people of Asia, using all its communication vehicles, in order to spread the word to all the people of Asia about this great humanitarian project.”
“The Games will be welcoming 45 Asian countries and regions in Doha next year. As such, we recognise the need and the responsibility to help those in need.”
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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