Gaza crisis: UAE residents help raise nearly Dh200,000 for Palestinian children

One woman donated Dh17,000 when entering the venue when all she was required to was Dh150

by

Waad Barakat

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KT photos: Waad Barakat
KT photos: Waad Barakat

Published: Mon 18 Dec 2023, 2:22 PM

Last updated: Tue 19 Dec 2023, 11:51 AM

A ‘silent auction’ held in Dubai on Sunday sent out a loud message of solidarity as the UAE community came together for the people of war-torn Gaza. Such was the generosity of the attendees that one woman donated Dh17,000 when entering the venue when all she was required to was Dh150.

This came as the A1 Space in Alserkal Avenue transformed into a hub of support for the children of Palestine on Sunday. With all proceeds directed to the non-profit Little Wings Foundation, the Wings for Gaza event raised nearly Dh200,000 in just one day. The funds will be used for medical aid and advocate for the health and well-being of the children of Gaza. The proceeds will help treat children with war-related limb deformities.

With a Palestinian theme, the event showcased the rich culture and artistry of the region. Sporting Palestinian headscarf keffiyeh, attendees were seen in clothes with messages of support for Gaza. Others contributed their handcrafted items, paintings, and pottery for sale. The immense support and outpouring of compassion demonstrated the unity of the community.

Attendees took part in a wide range of engaging activities. During the silent auction, captivating Palestinian art, paintings, an installation, and an authentic Thobe (robe) from Gaza went under the hammer. Attendees bid for them via their phones.

To participate in Wings for Gaza, adults were required to make a minimum donation of Dh150. Entry for children was complimentary, with a nominal fee of Dh50 to access the activities. The event attracted volunteers, including some as young as 17 who are passionate about the Palestinian cause.

Yasma Husseini, Palestinian, a high school student who volunteered, said, "We decided to participate and volunteer because we’re passionate about the Palestinian cause, we grew up hearing about it.”

Similarly, Maryam Khayyat, Palestinian, added: “It is the least we can do.”

The attendance of Asil Abdo, a Palestinian resident in the UAE, and her husband Tariq Abu Shaban, an IT professional, exemplified the community's commitment to the cause. When asked why they are volunteering, they simply answered: “Why not?”. In her remarks, Asil expressed her gratitude to everyone who attended and supported the event.

“The turnout was amazing, especially when this wasn’t advertised enough. We raised 190k only today. I had door duty and this one woman donated 17k just at entry without buying anything. It's heartwarming to see people standing with Palestinians in this amazing way.”

The event brought together people from different nationalities and age groups, all united in their support for the people of Gaza. The event provided a unique opportunity for attendees to make a tangible difference in the lives of these young individuals.

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