JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS Thursday 26 July 2012
Saudi philanthropists and businessmen competed with one another by offering generous donations in cash and kind as the amount collected by the National Fundraising Campaign for Syrians exceeded the SR 160 million mark Tuesday night.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah launched the campaign on Monday by donating SR 20 million to the fund while Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, gave SR 10 million.
Al-Rajhi Bank announced a donation of SR 5 million to the fund. The bank commended King Abdullah for launching the campaign in support of Syrians facing oppression under the regime of Bashar Assad.
According to a statement issued by Mobily, the cell phone operator’s clients donated SR 3.4 million to the fund by sending an SMS to the joint number of 5565. The company urged its customers to continue their donations for Syrians.
NCB donated SR 2 million while Arab National Bank announced a donation of SR 1 million to support the campaign and SABB offered SR 1 million. “We donate SR 1 million to realize the noble objectives of this campaign,” said Khaled Al-Olayan, chairman of SABB.
Abdullah Al-Turki, secretary-general of the Muslim World League, urged international charitable organizations and NGOs to support the Syrians who are facing the worst form of oppression under Bashar Assad’s regime. He said more than 20,000 civilians have been killed and 100,000 injured in atrocities caused by regime forces while 400,000 people have been displaced. He commended King Abdullah for launching the campaign to mobilize funds to support the Syrians.
Hussam Shaath, director of public relations at the Saudi Relief Committee, said relief work for Syrians would require more than SR 400 million, adding that it would help provide relief assistance to 500,000 people, distribute one month’s worth of food packets, and set up 50 clinics.
Meanwhile, a number of Syrians living in Saudi Arabia have commended King Abdullah’s gesture of calling for a fundraising campaign for Syrians. “I would like to meet King Abdullah and kiss his hand for this noble gesture,” said an academic who works at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. He said about 85 percent of Syrians have been suffering from injustices committed by the present regime. He added that the country is dominated by Alawites who account for only 3.5 percent of the population.
Mustafa Al-Rifae, a Syrian, said the campaign would contribute to alleviating the suffering of Syrian people. “The campaign comes at the right time when Syrians are facing their worst tragedy.”