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Saturday, January 10, 2009

$90mn collected during TV Gaza fundraisers

By Andy Sambidge

TV fundraising campaigns in the UAE and Bahrain have raised a total of $90 million to help the Palestinian people in Gaza strip.

The nationwide fundraisers, aired through all TV and radio stations on Friday, saw $86 milllion raised in the UAE and $4 million in Bahrain, while solidarity marches also took place simultaneously in four of the emirates.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA) and Head of the Office of Coordination of Foreign Aid, thanked UAE residents for their generosity, saying that the donations received had exceeded expectations, news agency WAM reported.
Sheikh Hamdan said the RCA, in association with the humanitarian relief and charity organisations in the UAE, would coordinate with international aid organisations to ensure the aid bought by donations would be distributed as soon as possible.

The rulers of Abu Dhabi and Dubai pledged to rebuild 1,200 homes in Gaza, while Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, the Minister of the Interior, pledged to rebuild 100 houses.

The NMC Hospital also gave 1.4 million dirhams of medical equipment as part of the fundraising initiative.

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Minister of Presidential Affairs, also pledged to build an extension to al Shafaa Hospital in Gaza while the Western Region donated 150,000 dirhams and 110 grammes of gold.

In Bahrain, the main contributors were Bahrain National Committee for the Support of Palestinians in Gaza chairman Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and leading businessman YBA Kanoo, who donated 100,000 dinars ($265,000) each. BBK donated $300,000 while NBB, Batelco, Alba and Bapco contributed 100,000 dinars each.

Meanwhile, more than 10,000 men, woman and children turned out in four emirates to make sure the people of Palestine were not forgotten.

In Sharjah, an estimated 5,000 gathered along Khaled Lagoon draped in Palestinian flags and wearing traditional black and white scarves, or kaffiyeh.

In Abu Dhabi, about 4,000 demonstrated along the Corniche Road while in Dubai, supporters gathered in Greek Park, waving flags and placards.

Hundreds donned the kaffiyeh in Ras al Khaimah to demonstrate outside Manar Mall.


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