‘Stand With Palestine’ charity football match raises over QAR20m

‘Stand With Palestine’ charity football match raises over QAR20m

QLNews
By QLNews

More than 27,000 people attended the student-led ‘Stand with Palestine’ initiative on Friday evening at the Education City Stadium.

One of the biggest-of-its-kind charitable initiatives, the football match collected over QAR20m for the support of the Palestinian people. 

The football showdown featured Qatar Academy Doha (QAD) and Palestinian school students playing alongside local and international players, media personalities, and social media influencers, including Rodrigo Tabata, Yaqub Bushahri, Mohammed Saadoun Al Kuwari, Ali Al Habsi, and Yassin Ibrahimi who were divided into two teams — Qatar and Palestine. 

The first half of the match, held over 30 minutes, saw the two teams’ scores deadlocked at 2-2.

Qatar seized an early lead in the fourth minute through former Qatar national team captain Rodrigo Tabata, only for Palestine to pull level 12 minutes later through Ecuadorian Carlos Tenorio.

Tabata unintentionally scored an own goal in the 22nd, granting Palestine a 2-1 advantage. However, Qatar managed to restore parity with a goal by Saud, a student participant.

With both teams failing to score in the second half, the match went into penalty kicks, which Palestine won 4-3.

Qatar Foundation’s Vice Chairperson and CEO HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, along with several dignitaries, excellencies, and ministers, attended the football match.

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 ticket sales will go towards supporting relief efforts for the 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. 

Over 100 students from Qatar Academy Doha volunteered at the event under the supervision of school teachers. The Asian Football Confederation provided volunteers with training like the one received by World Cup volunteers.

Among the audience was Wafa Hosni Jaber, a Palestinian from the city of Tulkarm, who has lived in Qatar for more than 20 years.

“It isn’t 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.”

“Our presence here today sends a clear message to our people in Palestine — expressing our solidarity with them, and that we’ll never abandon the Palestinian cause and that it’s our priority,” she added.

Mustafa Khatib, who was also in attendance, said: “We’re 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.

“We thank all those in charge of this initiative, especially since it’s a student and youth-led initiative which reflects what we’ve always known — unconditional support from the Qatari people.”

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. They presented the songs ‘Palestine is Arab’ and ‘My Homeland.’

It also featured a display of illuminated drones, and prize draws during half-time.

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