More than 27,000 people attended the student-led "Stand with Palestine" initiative on Friday at the Education City Stadium – one of the largest charitable initiatives – where an approximate of QR20mn was raised to support Palestinian people.
The event was attended by HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation (QF), alongside several dignitaries, excellencies, and ministers.
The fund-raising initiative, launched by students of Qatar Academy Doha (QAD), part of QF’s Pre-University Education, aimed to involve the local community and give them the opportunity to show their solidarity with the people of Palestine.
Proceeds from the ticket sales of the football match will go towards supporting relief efforts for Palestinians. And for those who wished to donate more than the ticket price, the initiative in collaboration with Qatar Charity, released a special online link where people could donate directly to the official channels dedicated to relief efforts in Palestine.
The initiative’s flagship football showdown featured QAD and Palestinian school students, play alongside local and international players, media personalities, and social media influencers including Rodrigo Tabata, Yaqub Bushahri, Mohamed Saadoun al-Kuwari, Ali al-Habsi, and Yassin Ibrahimi who were divided into two teams – Qatar and Palestine.
Over 100 students from Qatar Academy Doha volunteered at the event under the supervision of school teachers, and the Asian Football Confederation provided the volunteers with training like the one received by World Cup volunteers.
The initiative included a variety of events, activities, and performances. It began with a musical act with a Palestinian theme performed by artists Nasser al-Kubaisi, Dana al-Meer, Nesma Emad, and Hala al-Imadi, presenting the songs "Palestine is Arab" and "My Homeland." It also featured a display of illuminated drones, and prize draws during half time of the match.
Among the audience who attended the initiative was Wafa Hosni Jaber, a Palestinian from the city of Tulkarm who has lived in Qatar for more than 20 years. “It is not strange for Qatar to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in all ways, and this charitable event takes us back to last year’s World Cup, with the same atmosphere, in which Palestine had a strong presence and we saw our country’s flag in the stands of the matches.”
She added: "Our presence here today sends a clear message to our people in Palestine – expressing our solidarity with them, and that we will never abandon the Palestinian cause and that it is our priority.”
Mustafa Khatib, who was also in attendance, said: “We are living in a very difficult time due to the brutal aggression against our people in Palestine, and our participation in such an initiative is the least we can do to support the Palestinian people. And we thank all those in charge of this initiative, especially since it is a student and youth-led initiative which reflects what we have always known – unconditional support from the Qatari people.”
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