Inflammation and stories on events

Forty Arab and international artists donated a total of 47 pieces of artwork to raise funds for Noor Dubai Foundation’s Art4Sight art auction on April 24-25. Held at the Zabeel Ladies Club, the auction helped raise AED 1.2 million (approximately 327,000 USD) for the Noor Duabai Foundation and programs to provide housing, prevention, education and training programs for the blind in various countries, specifically the United Arab Emirates.

Participating artists included Abdulqader Al Rais, Najat Makki, and Fatima Lootah, and Her Highness Sheikha Latifa Bint Maktoum. A young artist, Aliya Hussein Lootah, donated a piece that was made in honor of the UAE’s 40th National Day and was signed by His Highness Shaikh Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

CEO of the Noor Dubai Foundation, Dr. Manal Taryam, gave thanks to the artists and reiterated the importance of the programs Art4Sight funds. “Providing the gift of sight aids both economic and social development in countries of need,” she said. In the last year, the foundation has helped raise AED 5.6 million (approx USD $1.5 million) to fund humanitarian and social aid programs to needy citizens and families living in the United Arab Emirates.

On the second day of the event, a panel discussion was held and addressed the specific topic of supporting art and philanthropy services in the UAE.  Participants in the discussion included eminent personalities such as director of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group and chairwoman of the Young Arab Leaders Muna Al Gurg.

With the success of the auction, the Noor Dubai Foundation is planning the third mobile eye camp for 2013 that will be held in Tamale, Ghana.

-Kira Maixner
Source: Khaleej Times
Photo: Oasis Unedited

Ever imagine combining a love for music with a passion for social activism?  That is exactly what the Global Poverty Project did with the Global Citizen Ticket Initiative. This innovative initiative seeks to reward social activism with something music lovers seek: concert tickets! Social activists can now use their passion for changing the world to earn music tickets. The initiative builds off the Global Poverty Project’s highly successful Global Citizen Festival which was held in New York City in 2012. 60,000 people earned free tickets to that event by participating in social activist activities.

The initiative is supported by musicians such as Pearl Jam and music industry professionals who want to see engagement around global poverty and make the eradication of global poverty a reality.  Musicians can inspire and motivate individuals to action; their support is extremely important to the cause. The goal is to rally thousands around causes such as polio, malaria, women’s empowerment, and education.  By adding incentives, the Global Poverty Project hopes to reach a larger number of individuals and spread the message even farther.

Global Citizen tickets are earned based off of a point reward system.  The points are linked to levels of involvement in social activism. For example, posting a link on Facebook earns one point whereas calling your senator will earn five points. The points can be redeemed for local concerts as well as passes to major music fests like Bonnaroo. It’s a way of rewarding people for their actions and providing an alternative to purchasing concert tickets. Several artists who have signed on to participate include John Mayer, Kayne West, Rihanna, Tim McGraw, and the Dixie Chicks. A complete list of artists and festivals is available on the website.

Music fans and activists alike are invited to participate in the Global Citizen Ticket initiative.  Their is an innovative online platform as well as mobile application to make participation easy. To get involved, register at and get started raising awareness and earning rewards today.

– Amanda Kloeppel

Source: JamBase


Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will speak at the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s second annual Forum on Global Development on April 29th, 2013.  Rice is expected to discuss the importance of foreign aid and its role in U.S. national security and diplomacy.  The Forum on Global Development comes at a key time as budget talks are going on and the world is facing 1000 days until the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals.

The Millennium Challenge Corportation was founded by the U.S. Government with the goal to work with some of the poorest countries in the world. MCC believes that aid is most effective when it reinforces good governance, economic freedom, and investments in people that promote economic growth and elimination of extreme poverty. 

In addition to Condoleezza Rice, the Forum on Global Development will also honor four award recipients at the event.  The Millennium Challenge Corporation will recognize Green Mountain Coffee Roasters of Vermont with its Corporate Award. Green Mountain has worked hard to partner with local NGOs to promote sustainable community development, to diversify incomes of coffee roasters, and to advance food security.

The MCC will recognize Sophia Mohapi, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Account in Lesotho, with their Country Commitment Award. Mohapi facilitated a commitment by Lesotho’s government of $150 million to poverty-reduction programs.

The last award, the MCC’s Next Generation Award, will go to Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman, founders of Uncharted Play. Matthews and Silverman are working hard to advance youth innovation and leadership through international development. Their flagship product is SOCCKET, a soccer ball that stores kinetic energy to provide light for those living without electricity.

– Amanda Kloeppel
Source: The Sacramento Bee
Photo: Veteran’s Today

On April 18, the Dalai Lama took part in a Peace Walk on the Serpentine Pedestrian Peace Bridge in Derry, Ireland. The 70 year-old Dalai Lama was invited by Richard Moore, founder of Children In Crossfire, to partake in a major UK City of Culture celebration. Moore invited the Dalai Lama to speak at the event attended by 2,500 people and to walk across the peace bridge in order to reiterate to people worldwide that peace is the only path for the future. Moore invited the Tibetan spiritual leader to return to Derry in order to signify how far the city had come in the last decade and how it will continue to flourish. Moore said that the Peace Bridge was not the only symbol of a positive future, but the youth as well.

Accompanying the the Nobel Peace Laureate as he walked across the bridge were 300 school children singing Peace is Flowing like a River, the leaders of the Catholic and Church of Ireland dioceses, Monsignor Eamonn Martin, Bishop Ken Good and Richard Moore.

After crossing the Peace Bridge, the Dalai Lama addressed the crowds gathered at an old British army site, the Venue Arts Center. “This century should be the century of dialogue. The last century was the century of violence…Whenever you face problems, try to solve them through dialogue and talk,” said the Dalai Lama. Among his thoughts on peace and compassion, he also reiterated that it is not only political leaders, but every person’s responsibility to be accepting, compassionate and open-minded towards one another to ensure true and lasting peace.

– Kira Maixner

Source: Belfast Telegraph


Read more interesting facts about the Dalai Lama


Kenyan Elections Delayed, Recount Requested
The party of Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has called for a cessation of vote counting, accusing the results of being “doctored.” Campaign officials are requesting a fresh count, with oversight on all parts of the tallying process. The final results were supposed to be transmitted electronically, but a server malfunction resulted in a complete failure of the digital voting system. As the results are now being tabulated by hand, citizens nervously await an official result in the Kenyan elections.

In Kenya’s first elections since 2007, Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s first president, is the front-runner, despite being accused of war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC asserts that in the violent aftermath of the 2007 election, Kenyatta helped to organize attacks against members of different ethnic groups. If elected, his position as Head of State would make the ICC’s case all the more difficult to see through.

Though many politicians are calling for peace, there is no guarantee that peace will last. Violence has flared in recent months, although the overall level of fighting is far below where it has reached in the past. Further reforms, like the new constitution and election procedures instituted after the 2007 violence, are necessary to ensure that all Kenyans can vote freely and peacefully for whomever they feel best represents their interests in the Kenyan elections.

Jake Simon

Source: New York Times

The Bazaar Stars Charity Night (BSCN) is the first charity auction party in China and also goes far in illustrating a new model of charity in China, which integrates fashion, charity, celebrities and the media while doing fundraising in the form of auctions.

Many national celebrities, including famous singers, actors, entrepreneurs and artists, attend the auction party and bid on luxury items each year, the funds of which go to those in need. The media and merchandise brand names are also very supportive.

Over the last 10 years, BSCN has collected about $25 million, sponsored 13 charity organizations and supported people and families in need. Moreover, in 2007, this event was the only charity event awarded with National Charity Award in China.

As more and more celebrities join the event, BSCN has become the biggest and most influential, non-governmental charity event in China.

Mang Su, the executive publisher of Harper’s Bazaar, initiated the event in 2003 and organizes it every year. In fact, Su is a leader in Chinese fashion and one of the top philanthropists in China. Her idea, “Making Charity Fashion,” has, moreover, created a new approach to philanthropy.

Su explained that philanthropy is not about living frugally and saving money for others, but about creating a more valuable society as a whole. “I want to contribute to charity in an innovative and fashionable way,” Su said. “Just like pursuing fashion, such as a gorgeous hairstyle or a beautiful lipstick. Everyone asks, ‘have you given to charity?’”

The purpose of the BSCN event is to help people to understand the importance of advancing society while creating their fortunes. “Not everyone can help others at the cost of his (or her) career, but everyone has a kind heart,” Su stated. “I hope this event can encourage people to express their kindness while fighting for their career and dreams.”

Xinyu Zhao, an investor of Gold Palm Club, bought a Dior sweet-smelling perfume for about $7,246.38. “I would never buy perfume for this amount normally, but this time it is for the charity. I feel very happy,” Zhao said.

Furthermore, Bingbing Li, a Chinese actress and singer, explained that the ten-year persistence of philanthropy is also a form of attitude.

At present, BSCN is not only an auction but also includes in its bag of delights, an evening banquet with dancing, which make the event even more fashionable. “With the development of society, more rich people are emerging. They have their own lifestyle,” Su said. She considers charity activities an elegant lifestyle and exclusive entertainment for the wealthy.

As more and more fashionable activities are related to some form of charity, Su believes charity events similar to the BSCN can bring wealthy celebrities closer to the idea of charity and bring them a deeper understanding of it.

“Some day, behind the rich lifestyle, people will find that it’s only by offering their love and generosity that they can realize their true class,” Su said.

Compared to China’s past charity activities, which were low key and mainly held by private individuals, current charity activities, such as the BSCN, have allowed the rich and famous of the Chinese nation to personally get involved to give back some of their fortunes openly and freely. More and more Chinese philanthropists are emerging, thus representing a new class of Chinese citizens who are on the way to understanding the concept of sharing.

Liying Qian

Sources: Harper’s Bazaar, SINA, Trends, Women of China