On Friday 8 August 2014, Katara Cultural Village launched a Gaza Solidarity Festival in support of Gaza, raising QR148 million for the people of Gaza.
Katara and Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) held a press conference in Katara on Saturday 9 August 2014 to make the announcement on donations made during the Gaza Solidarity Festival, in the presence of Palestinian Ambassador to Qatar, Moneer Ghanam.
According to the General Manager of Katara, Khalid Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, the festival is held to aid the Palestinian people in Gaza, who are living a horrific humanitarian crisis. He added that holding the festival reflected Katara’s role in supporting humanitarian causes that promote charitable and aid work. Al Sulaiti stressed that the humanitarian campaign to help the people in Gaza will not stop. He extended his thanks to restaurants in Katara and Aspire Zone who supported the charitable work head on. Al Sulaiti added that the huge success of the festival reflected the Qatari and Arab personality in general which unites during the tough times.
Thousands of visitors attended the festival at the Katara Amphitheatre. In cooperation with QRC, Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Foundation for Humanitarian Services, Eid Charity, Qatar TV, Al Rayyan TV and Q-media, the festival comprised of cultural events, art shows and musical performances by singers, artistes and poets. The highlight of the festival was the art exhibitions by Qatari, Palestinian and Saudi artists – in collaboration with centres and associations in Katara such as Qatar Fine Arts Society, Qatar Photographic Society and Visual Art Centre. In addition, Katara and Aspire Zone restaurants also donated their earnings on the day of the festival to the people of Gaza.
In addition to the festival, QRC and Katara launched together a campaign to collect donations for the people of Gaza. According to President of QRC, Mohammed bin Ghanem Al Ali Al Maadheed, the campaign for Gaza will keep going, calling on the public to participate in the campaign not just through financial support, but also by media and political support through the use of traditional and social media to condemn Israel’s attack on Gaza. Al Maadheed said that QRC was cooperating with Arab Red Crescent organisations and the Red Cross to deliver the donations to the people of Gaza. QRC has an office based in Gaza that coordinates with the Palestinian Ministry of Health to estimate the needs of the people in terms of clean water, medicine, shelter and electricity.
Donations could be made by phone or at one of the QRC’s check points and offices. According to Katara, all the revenue from the festival will be donated to people in Gaza in the recent Israel-Gaza conflict. Since 7 July 2014, Israeli attacks in Gaza has left the Palestinian death toll climbing steadily, leaving more than 1,000 Palestinians dead – a third of whom are children, according to the UN children’s agency, Unicef. The UN says 17,000 people have sought refuge in its facilities. The UN Security Council has called for a ceasefire and peace talks.
In addition, donations can be made via phone, text message, online through QRC’s website – or by sending the message (Qatar) to 92766. Donations can also be delivered to QRC’s offices in Old Salata, the Corniche, Al Khor and Nuaija – or by calling 6666 6364. In addition, QRC will be present in shopping malls and centres including City Centre-Doha, Landmark, Villaggio, Hyatt Plaza, The Mall and Al Meera branches as well as Al Amal Hospital to receive donation.