On Friday, individuals and entities from the public and private sectors collectively donated an incredible AED 15,649,140 during a three-hour telethon organised by The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) and Sharjah Charity International (SCI) in collaboration with the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority (SBA). The fundraiser was in support of the UAE’s ‘Bridges of Goodness’ initiative to aid earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria.
Held under the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairperson of TBHF, the funds will be allocated to provide immediate relief assistance as well as supporting sustainable development projects, including housing, healthcare services and education.
The funds will also be used to speed up recovery from the tragic natural disaster in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and reliable humanitarian and charity organisations that operate locally in Turkey and Syria.
TBHF announced that the fundraising campaign shall continue in the days to come, providing potential donors from both the UAE and worldwide an opportunity to make their contributions by reaching out via a multitude of channels, including dialling +971505350152 or 80014, navigating to TBHF’s official website at www.tbhf.ae, Sharjah Charity International’s website at https://shjc.sharjah.ae, or alternatively, physically visiting the main offices of TBHF or SCI to make their donations.
During the telethon, Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed bin Khalid Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Charity International, said that the ongoing relief campaign for Syria and Turkey is in line with the established humanitarian efforts of Sharjah and the UAE to extend aid to those in need.
He emphasised that the campaign is dedicated to providing vital aid to those impacted by the recent earthquake in the affected regions and expressed sincere appreciation for the enthusiastic response from volunteers and donors alike, stating that this fundraiser serves as a testament to the deeply rooted culture of benevolence within UAE society.
Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of TBHF, said: “The recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria has resulted in a humanitarian crisis that has deeply impacted individuals across the globe. This crisis is expected to have significant and lasting repercussions for several years to come, necessitating a comprehensive response that includes moral, emotional, and financial support.”
The Director emphasised the importance of solidarity with those affected through aid and relief efforts, while also mobilising collective efforts and encouraging contributions from all individuals, regardless of their capacity, to facilitate the provision of urgent relief resources and support the reconstruction efforts.
Al Hammadi noted that Sheikha Jawaher’s call for support has received a remarkable response. She added that Her Highness’s prior campaigns have yielded significant outcomes, drawing in global contributors and supporters to offer crucial relief resources and aid. Expanding on this she said: “TBHF is honoured to answer Her Highness’s call by leveraging its network of relationships in a manner that advances its humanitarian pursuits and demonstrates solidarity with our afflicted brethren.”
HE Mohammed Hassan Khalaf, Director General of SBA emphasised the abundance of good in people and the limitless nature of giving, saying: “We recognize our humanitarian responsibility and national duty to partner in the UAE’s ‘Bridges of Goodness’ national initiative, as well as contributors to the campaign launched by TBHF. Through the live telethon, we provided ways for institutions and individuals to extend a helping hand to those in need who were affected by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Furthermore, SBA worked diligently to provide examples of goodness and giving in order to encourage our community to contribute and provide support in various forms.”
The SBA Director General added: “In these challenging circumstances, an increased sense of humanitarian responsibility and duty towards the less fortunate, which stems from our role as media, and the unwavering commitment to the noble values embedded in our Emirati society. Through this humanitarian campaign, we assert our support and solidarity with the country’s efforts to alleviate the plight of our brethren in Turkey and Syria.” Stating that the community’s response during the telethon translates to the cohesiveness and solidarity that unites the country and its communities.
During the telethon, several renowned artists and media figures took part in the live broadcast and voiced the importance of communities to take part in helping those affected by the earthquake.
TBHF Ambassador Designate Hussain Al Jasmi, said: “We are honoured to be part of this humanitarian campaign, to help and relieve our brothers and sisters in Turkey and Syria. Through TBHF, we are able to offer a helping hand to those affected by this crisis, and we urge others to join us in this noble endeavour.
Emirati actor Ahmed Al Jasmi said:“During this challenging period, the essence of humanity’s values and solidarity through compassion has become all the more apparent. It is heartening to see that a vast number of individuals stand in support of Turkey, Syria, and all those who have been impacted by recent events.”
Media figure Mustafa Al Agha, conveyed his profound gratitude and appreciation towards Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher. He emphasised that the UAE and its people have demonstrated their heartfelt sympathy and unwavering support towards those adversely impacted, which warrants gratitude and admiration.
Syrian actress Shukran Murtaja, asserted her unwavering dedication towards the relief efforts in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. Murtaja underscores that the scale of this disaster warrants a collective, global humanitarian effort towards the comprehensive reconstruction and assistance of the affected communities. She commended the outstanding efforts of the UAE and Sharjah to provide the necessary resources for the revitalization of these vital institutions.
During the telethon, the relief campaign received donations from hundreds of individuals and institutions, including Sharjah Islamic bank, AED 3 million; Sharjah Cooperative Society, AED 1.5 million; Bee’ah Group, AED 500,000; Fast Building Contracting LLC, AED 100,000; Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, AED 2 million for medical equipment, while its cadre donated AED 250,000; Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), AED 100,000; Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa) AED 100,000, MegaMall AED 1 million; Sharjah Fishermen Cooperative Society AED 30,000; GMS, AED 1 million; Arada, AED 2.5 million, while its staff donated AED 125,000.
The donors also included: Emirates Stone Co. Ltd, AED 250,000; Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, AED 500,000; University Hospital Sharjah, AED 200,000; National Network Communications (NNC), AED 100,000; Tilal Properties, AED 100,000; Al Midfa Investments Group LLC, AED 100,000; and Xposure International Photography Festival, AED 100,000. The campaign also received many contributions via text messages that it launched through the companies “Etisalat” and “Du”, which express the role of each donation in making a difference for those affected by the earthquake.