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UAE telethon raises Dh49 million

posted on 29/07/2006: 823 views

A fundraising campaign for victims of Israel's war in Lebanon raised Dh49 million as of 1am in a 10-hour telethon organised by three UAE-based institutions. Several prominent Arab personalities appealed for donations on air, including celebrities, political, and business figures, and scores of children emptied their piggy banks.

The telethon, which started at 3pm on Friday, was organised by Dubai Media Incorporated, the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Humanitarian and Charitable Foundation and the UAE Red Crescent Authority. At the time of publication the charity event was continuing past its scheduled time.

Suha Basat Al Bostani, the spokesperson of the UN International Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef) in Lebanon, said the number of displaced people in Lebanon stood at 750,000. The telethon, which was organised by Dubai Media Incorporated, (DMI), the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation and the UAE Red Crescent Authority, was broadcast on four Dubai-based channels and a Lebanese channel.

The first donation came within the first few minutes of the programme with Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, deputy director of Mashreqbank, pledging Dh5 million. This was shortly followed by a Dh1 million donation from businessman Ahmad Abdullah Al Shaafar.

Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai Police chief, donated Dh100,000. The 10-hour programme was interspersed with discussions and updates on the ongoing conflict in Lebanon, interview with families displaced by the fighting, appeal from celebrities and singing of patriotic songs.

Queen Rania of Jordan also made an appearance in the telethon. "Your children are our children; your wounds are our wounds; your house is our house. "Lets work together to take the child back to his school, the farmer to his farm, and the family back to its home," she said. Khalifa Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, chairman of the Board of Directors of the UAE Red Crescent Authority, thanked both the donors and volunteers for supporting the telethon. "You are our strength. We depend on you and cannot work without you," he said.

Suwaidi also reported that the RCA had initially sent 600 tonnes of relief supplies to Lebanon. (Gulf News)


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