DED initiative raises a million dirhams towards ’Reading Nation’ campaign
His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), attended the ‘Sirage Gala Dinner,’ held as part of the ‘Sirage’ social responsibility campaign of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, and unveiled the launch of the ‘Knowledge Development Majalis,’ constituted by DED in cooperation with aafaq Islamic finance. The Majalis is part of DED’s CSR policy outside the UAE in support of the country’s commitment to building knowledge-based economies as well as to helping underprivileged communities around the world to advance sustainably through education and empowerment.
His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED, was present at the launch of the ‘Knowledge Development Majalis,’ along with HE Abdul Jalil Albluki and Dr. Mahmoud Abdelaal, Vice chairman and CEO respectively of aafaq Islamic finance, strategic partner of DED in the initiative.
It was also announced during the Gala Dinner that the proceeds from Sirage, which in its first cycle had pledged to support the ‘Reading Nation’ initiative of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, reached a million dirhams, enough to raise 100,000 books. The amount was handed over to HE Tariq Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares, by Al Qamzi. ‘Reading Nation’ aims to provide five million books to children in need worldwide.
Al Qamzi in his opening speech expressed his gratitude to HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum for his presence and patronage to ‘Sirage,’ which will be held annually in solidarity with the initiatives launched by the UAE leadership to motivate sharing and caring during the month of Ramadan.
The Qamzi said: "Through the ‘Sirage’ programme we are trying to promote communication and collaboration between the public and private sectors in advancing social responsibility and humanitarian action, which is in line with the CSR policy in the UAE, and to work as a team with the private sector, thereby highlighting the role of Dubai in promoting and instilling the values of solidarity and support for people in need."
Al Qamzi further said that DED and its agencies are keen to promote humanitarian endeavours originating in the UAE, especially those in which UAE citizens as well as the diverse nationalities in this country join hands. “This charity evening is another step towards achieving a milestone in our community support. The initiative also falls in line with Zayed Humanitarian Work Day, observed on the 19th of Ramadan in memory of the late His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and in recognition of his role in the founding of the philanthropy march in the country.
The Knowledge Development Majalis, launched by DED in co-operation with aafaq Islamic Finance, involves setting up 19 Majlis for children up to the age of 10, equipped with the latest educational technologies, including a comprehensive library, display screens, a mosque, and facilities for educational workshops and fine arts, serving as oases of hope for children.
The 19 Majalis will have over a million books for children worldwide and the initiative will specifically target disadvantaged children among displaced communities in Asian and African countries, including Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan and Somalia, The tents are based on the principle of education and empowerment as key drivers of sustainable development.
DED and aafaq Islamic Finance will work with the agencies concerned to identify the deserving communities as part of the initiative. They have constituted a joint committee to manage the ‘Knowledge Development Majalis’ through the coming few years, with expenditure from aafaq knowledge endowment, which was announced through the Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Centre for Endowment Consultancy.
The gala dinner was attended by 200 people, including leading entrepreneurs, businessmen, exporters and investors. Al Qamzi praised the companies and institutions that participated in the exhibition held 16-21 June 2016 in the Dubai Festival City Mall as part of ‘Sirage Exhibition,’ with varied products for different segments of the society going on display. More than 50 entrepreneurs and SMEs, local firms and exporters as well as 20 social and humanitarian groups, including low-income families and the disabled people were part of the event.
The evening included a video presentation on the Knowledge Development Majalis and a lecture on charity and the importance of reading by Dr. Qutub Abdul Hamid Qutub, Preaching and Guidance Counselor at Dubai’s Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities.
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