A charity auction that was held at the sixth biennial Gala Dinner of Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), which was held to mark the 10th anniversary of ROTA at the Al Shaqab indoor arena has reportedly raised over $15 million. The precise figure will be revealed at a later time.
The auction was conducted by Lord Poltimore, the Deputy Chairman of the world renowned auction house Sotheby. Among the items that went under the hammer was a Qatari natural Jeewan pearl necklace. The rare necklace, donated to the auction by Al Majed Jewellery, is made of 582 of Qatar’s finest pearls as they are all of the same size, shape, lustre and quality.
Other exotic items that went on sale at the event included a trip to space for two, Patek Philippe’s dome table clock donated by Al Majed Jewellery; a Hermès men’s trunk donated by Wissam Al Mana, a 2017 BMW M3 30 Jahre Limited Edition donated by Al Fardan Automobiles, and a Louis Moinet Mecanograph limited edition watch.
The event was held to raise funding for ROTA’s initiatives in various countries, which include educational initiatives for the support of Syrian refugees which consist of ‘Longing to Learn’ programme in Lebanon, the ‘I Had a Dream’ initiative in Jordan and ‘Project Tomorrow’ in Turkey.
Other ROTA initiatives that will receive funding include the ‘Opportunities for Life’ programme in Bangladesh, the ‘Bringing Back Hope’ project in Yemen and the ‘1 in 11’ campaign in Indonesia, in partnership with UNICEF and FC Barcelona Foundation. Pledges were received during the auction for the said projects worth $15.4m which will directly benefit more than 180,000 children in those countries.
The Father Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and H H Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser as well as Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia were in attendance at the event.
H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, Chairperson of ROTA while speaking at the event expressed gratitude to all the people who have supported ROTA over the years in implementing the various educational initiatives to help thousands of children in 13 countries.
Stressing the importance of education in putting an end to conflict and at the same time opening up new avenues for a better future, Sheikha Al Mayassa stated that ROTA’s programmes help young citizens as well as millions of children abroad.
The most profound moment of the event was the honouring of Ahmad Al Sawafiri from Gaza with a lifetime achievement award. Sawafiri who lost his limbs in a brutal attack continues to carry forward his noble work of educating children by teaching voluntarily.
The short movie which traces the journey of 13 year old local hero and ROTA Ambassador Ghanim Al Muftah was also screened at the event. The movie depicts how Ghanim has been helping children in other countries. The skull cap of Ghanim was also auctioned and it fectched a staggering $500, 000.
The event was hosted by Lojain Omran, a popular Arab media personality and the 2014 Global Music Humanitarian Awardee Malek Jandali performed at the event with Laura Metcalf on Cello and Abdulrahim Al Saidi on Oud.
Qatar’s leading youth choir, Siwar Choir also performed at the event. The event was attended by many prominent personalities which included local and regional celebrities, chief executives and owners of Qatar’s largest companies and senior government officials.