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Qatar Airways carries one million candles to Gaza
Source: BI-ME , Author: BI-ME staff
Posted: Thu February 12, 2009 12:00 am

INTERNATIONAL. Qatar Airways has answered the call of an international campaign launched by a grieving Palestinian woman who has begun a peaceful initiative against civilian deaths in Gaza.

The Doha-based airline is throwing its support behind the delivery of one million candles to the people of Gaza in a story that has captured the attention of more than 75 countries.

UK resident Manal Timraz, who lives in Coventry, conceived her campaign 'One Million Candles' while mourning the deaths of 15 of her family members, who were killed in a single bomb attack in Gaza last month. Some 11 of the dead were children, nieces and nephews of Timraz, all aged under 12.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker learned about Timraz’s story and the One Million Candles campaign, and immediately offered the assistance of the airline.

“The death of loved ones, especially children, and in such a great number, would be a terrible loss to bear for anyone.

"I personally felt compelled to help Manal, who has suffered an incredible tragedy as have so many others in Gaza caught up in the recent conflict. I quickly offered the support of Qatar Airways to bring Manal, with her candles, from London to the Middle East,” said Al Baker, addressing media in Doha today.

“Qatar Airways and Qatar Airways Cargo is fully behind Manal and her campaign to bring light and hope to the darkness of people’s lives in Gaza and, with it, the knowledge that there are people in this world who advocate peace over violence and won’t forget the people who lost family members in the recent conflict.

“The airline is a big supporter of humanitarian initiatives. We are a global airline, serving over 80 destinations across four continents, and have offered our assistance following a number of disasters, including last year’s devastating earthquake in China, as well as delivering aid to the stricken Darfur region in Sudan, and aid to tsunami victims in 2006.” he added.

The One Million Candles campaign, launched a month ago, reached out to people in Timraz’s adopted country of Britain and asked for donations of candles as a gesture of solidarity and support for the people of Gaza.

One Million Candles has sparked major interest, receiving support from a number of people from across the political and entertainment spectrum including British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Hollywood star Richard Gere.

During a brief stopover in Doha enroute to Gaza via Amman, Timraz thanked Qatar Airways for its support in making her campaign a success.

She stressed that her objective was only to make people aware that normal citizens were unwittingly caught up in this struggle and ultimately paid for it with their lives.

“This campaign is not about assigning blame, nor is it politically motivated,” said Timraz.

“One Million Candles is about reaching out to the humanity in each and every one of us, and for everyone across the world to understand that essentially we are all the same. There is no need to fight, no need for war and no need for innocent people to die.

“If anything can be gained from this campaign, I hope that it can shed light on the terrible tragedies that have occurred, not just for me, but for all those in Gaza who are mourning the loss of loved ones,” added Timraz.

“The international response to this campaign has been overwhelming. It really shows that the average person is not okay with what’s happened in Gaza, and they really want to offer their support. This is not a personal crusade of mine.

"I began the campaign and have been extremely touched by the level of support from so many people around the world.”
 
Timraz, her two children, and campaign advocates flew Qatar Airways from London to Doha and were travelling onto Amman for their final destination of Gaza.

 

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