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Star-studded Abu Dhabi telethon for Pakistan begins tonight

posted on 25/08/2010: 756 views

A three-day telethon to collect donations for Pakistani flood victims begins tonight, with organisers hoping to raise Dh100 million.

The UAE government campaign, dubbed Awnkum, or "your help”, will be broadcast live from the main newsroom at Abu Dhabi TV and feature a variety of guests, including ambassadors, Muslim clerics, poets and celebrities.

"Artists have a strong influence on viewers, so we want them to deliver the messages and calls of relief to the public,” said Abdulraheem al Bateeh, the director of news at Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC), which publishes The National.

The celebrities will include actors from the UAE, Syria and Egypt. "We will take advantage of the soap operas that were produced by ADMC, such as Al Ghafa and Ma Asa'ab al Kalam, and bring the stars of these shows,” said Mr al Bateeh.

Other guests include Khurshid Ahmed Junejo, the Pakistani ambassador to the UAE, and representatives from the World Health Organisation, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, and Medecins Sans Frontieres.

"There will also be live feeds from Melton, in Pakistan, which is the most affected area,” Mr al Bateeh said.

Abu Dhabi TV correspondents have prepared segments from locations around the country for the telethon, which will be broadcast from 4-6pm and 9.30-10.30pm today and tomorrow and from 9.30pm to midnight on Friday.

"We want to reflect the tragic human situation there, the roots of the problem, where and how it started and its current situation, and possible solutions,” he said.

The telethon will also be broadcast on Abu Dhabi FM and across Abu Dhabi al Emarat, Sama Dubai, Dunia al Fujairah and channels in Sharjah, RAK and Ajman.

Viewers can donate to the campaign through its call centre, via text and though a bank account set up by the Red Crescent Authority, which will be in charge of distributing the proceeds in Pakistan. – The National


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