H.H. Sheikh Mohammed crowns Arab Hope Makers

WAM

Iraqi pharmacist Tala Al Khalil has been crowned the 2024 Arab Hope Maker for her initiative to support children with Down Syndrome and cancer. 

In a glittering ceremony in Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, also awarded the three other finalists - Mohamed Al Najjar from Iraq, Amine Imnir from Morocco and Fathiya Al Mahmoud from Egypt - with the title of Arab Hope Maker.

All four of them will receive an AED 1 million prize for their humanitarian efforts. 

Kalil, who received the highest number of votes during the ceremony, began her journey in 2015 supporting young cancer patients at Basra Children’s Hospital, providing them with hope and education. In 2018, she founded Warriors Academy to care for 200 children with Down syndrome and cancer.

Dr Mohamed Al Najjar, who lost his leg in 2014, turned the tragedy into a driver of change and hope. A fan of football himself, he first excelled as part of the Portsmouth football team for amputees, and later helped build Iraq's football team of amputees. With his undying determination, he helped the Iraqi team rank 19th globally out of 70 amputee football teams.

Meanwhile, YouTuber Amine Imnir uses his channel ‘Faysboki’ to improve the living conditions of underprivileged Moroccans. Heading the AFTAS Society for Development and Solidarity, Amine has sponsored a number of humanitarian initiatives in his country. From distributing over 1,000 solar panels, more than 4,500 food parcels to poor families, financing 217 surgeries in 2023 and the planting of 2,800 fruitful trees, his achievements are endless.

Known as ‘the mother of orphans’ or ‘Mama Fathiya’, Fathiya Al Mahmoud set up the 'A Touch of Hope' society in 20005, to start caring for 34 orphan girls. She, and her husband, also established a charity hospital that offers free healthcare to orphans and people of determination.

It's the fourth season of the largest initiative of its kind in the Arab region celebrating philanthropists.

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