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H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser and H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani with dignitaries at the fourth Reach Out To Asia (Rota) Gala Dinner yesterday.Maher Attar
BY RAYNALD C RIVERA
DOHA: Over $7m was raised at the charity auction during the fourth Reach Out To Asia (Rota) Gala Dinner graced by H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser yesterday at the Katara.
Of the ten items which went under the hammer at the auction conducted by Lord Poltimore, Europe Deputy Chairman of world famous auction house Sotheby’s, the most valued was a Richard Serra artwork titled ‘Elevational Heights’ which fetched $1.5m. The Al Koora Art Project which was a result of a collaboration among special needs children from seven institutions in Qatar fetched a total of $1.45m while Damien Hirst’s diamond-studded ‘Beautiful Magnificent It’s the Stuff of Legends Painting’ fetched $1.1m.
Other items which were auctioned included a Porsche Panamera 4S, works by artists Cai Guo Qiang, Matthew Day Jackson and Yousaf Ahmad, actress and philanthropist Angelina Jolie’s sparkling golden Citrine earrings and four VIP tickets for the FC Barcelona versus Real Madrid ‘El Clasico’ football match plus a private tour of FC Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium and a signed match ball and shirt.
Speaking to the media, Rota Director Essa Al Mannai said, “The funds raised tonight will go directly to support ongoing and soon-to-be-launched Rota projects across Asia and the Middle East. Despite global economic challenges of recent years, our guests, sponsors and donors remain keen to advocate the importance of education and raise awareness of Rota’s work”.
Hosted by five-time Olympian Charmaine Crooks, the gala was made dazzling with performance from Grammy-award winning Korean soprano Sumi Jo who rendered her own electrifying version of the song ‘You Raise Me Up’. Renowned Emirati singer Hussein Al Jassmi also sang an inspirational song entitled ‘The World’ he wrote especially for the event.
Adorning the red carpet and bringing a splash of glamour to the event were Prince Waleed bin Talal, Actress Hayat Al Fahed, Singer Nawal, Director Khaled Mouznar, and Director and Actress Nadeen Labaky, in addition to sports champions: Balsam and Lulwah Al Ayoub, Nasser Al Attiyah, Djamel Bouras; and Olympic Decathlon Gold Medallist, Bryan Clay from the US.
Speaking to The Peninsula, Bryan Clay, who himself runs a foundation lauded the event saying he is open to collaborate with institutions like Rota.
Gala Dinner guests were introduced to Shahzad, one of the 3,000 Pakistani youth who participated in Rota’s ‘Generation Amazing’ football development programme in partnership with Qatar2022 bid committee, delivered an emotional speech recounting his experiences gained from that program.
A highlight of the event was the bestowing of Rota Lifetime Achievement Award to Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority H E Abdulla bin Hamad Al Attiyah by Rota Chairperson Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani in recognition of his contribution to Qatar’s progress.