Dec 12, 2011
Princess Ameerah Attends Turquoise Mountain Fundraising Dinner

Alwaleed Foundation Donates £1 million to Turquoise Mountain Foundation

HH Princess Ameerah Al–Taweel, Vice Chairwoman of Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation* chaired by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, attended the Turquoise Mountain Fundraising Dinner on behalf of Alwaleed Foundation. The event was held at Clarence House and hosted by HRH Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales.

During the event, the Turquoise Mountain Foundation, Afghanistan, displayed handcrafted objects created by trainees at the Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture. Moreover, Princess Ameerah announced a donation of £1 million, through the Alwaleed Foundation, to Turquoise Mountain towards an endowment that will sustain Turquoise Mountain Foundation over 15 years. In recognition to this and previous support, a building will be named after “HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud”. The institute sits in the heart of the Old City. It is made up of buildings with nearly 200 years of history, and which represents the history and culture of Afghanistan.

Princess Ameerah commented: “We are proud to support the wonderful initiatives of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation through Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, and are moved by the efforts made to train young people and preserve culture and heritage through skill training with master craftsmen.”

In 2007, Alwaleed Foundation donated $500,000 to the Turquoise Mountain; the donation covered the running cost for woodworking ceramics and calligraphy for one year. In addition, the development of the restoration program of Murade Khane, the continuation of the practical skill training program, and limited production for an international market. The Turquoise Mountain Foundation is part of The Prince’s Charities; the President of Afghanistan and HRH Prince Charles are joint presidents of the organization. The Turquoise Mountain Foundation was established in 2006 and seeks to provide jobs, skills, and a renewed sense of national pride to Afghan men and women.

Turquoise Mountain established a few years ago Afghanistan's only Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture. Some of the country's greatest master craftsmen train in woodwork, calligraphy, and ceramics there to preserve traditional skills, develop new designs and technologies, and access new markets. The Institute actively recruits the youth of Afghanistan, particularly women, and offers classes in literacy, English, and business in addition to the craft curriculum in order to prepare students to succeed as artisans and entrepreneurs.

This has resulted in many success stories such as Ustad Abdul Hadi’s who works at Turquoise Mountain in “inlay” and “Jali” making and who has been a craftsman in this field for 52 years. This unique art was about to disappear from Afghanistan due to war and conflict. The establishment of Turquoise Mountain for the revival of traditional Afghan art and craft had provided a chance to revive this art, and enable this skill to be passed to coming generations.

Moreover, Prince Alwaleed and Prince Charles had jointly established the “Prince Alwaleed Prince of Wales Fund” that supports the preservation of heritage and Islamic art, tackles issues related to unemployment and supports training. Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation created this endowment fund with The Prince’s Charities, with a support of £3 million.

In addition to the Arpana Trust (The Arpana Charitable Trust, UK) that provides aid to afflicted people in India. Projects are for the welfare of marginalized rural and urban slum dwellers with a focus on health, gender equality, socio economics welfare and empowerment of women. Prince Charles is a Patron of the Trust and Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation, Chaired by Prince Alwaleed had given support to the Trust with a SR3,750,000 donation. Also, Alwaleed Foundation supported the Bidaya Project with a donation of SR1,125,000 to help small business developers and provide them with the necessary training in business administration. This was part of The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum, which operated a program called the Youth Business International (YBI) network that helps disadvantaged young people realize their ambitions to become entrepreneurs.

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In 2008, HRH made a £16 million endowment to create two new research centres for Islamic studies at the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh (£8 million for each university). The new centers will carry out both research and public engagement designed to enhance understanding between the Muslim world and the West. In 2002, the Prince made a £1 million endowment to the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter.

In March 2010, Prince Alwaleed was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor honoris causa from the University of Edinburgh in a ceremony at the Signet Library, Parliament Square, and also inaugurated the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam at Edinburgh University. The degree was conferred by HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke of Edinburgh is Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh and the University of Cambridge.

HRH’s philanthropic grants and donations over 65 countries ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe; from Gaza to The Gambia, totaling more than $2.4 billion over the last 30 years. HRH has established three Foundations to handle his philanthropic activities across the globe under the slogan “Commitment Without Boundaries”: Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation in Saudi Arabia, Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation- Global registered in Lebanon and Alwaleed Bin Talal Humanitarian Foundation in Lebanon. His foundations work locally, regionally and internationally to combat poverty, strengthen interfaith and intercultural dialogue and empower women and youth.

The “Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation” encourages and supports organizations, studies, and academic centers focusing on empowering Saudi women, alleviating poverty, upgrading services provided to the population, and other social infrastructure issues that face the country. The foundation is also directly involved in major projects that provide direct aid to the citizens of Saudi Arabia ranging from medical aid to housing where hundreds of housing units have been provided to poor families as part of a 10 year project. Other projects the foundation is involved in include the distribution of electric generators to remote villages and, printing and the translation of the holy Quran into13 languages.

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Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation – Global works to provide women and youth in the MENA region with economic and educational opportunities, through strategic philanthropic investments in sustainable projects of the Foundation’s various partner organizations. It tackles poverty and provides rapid aid in cases of natural disasters internationally. One of the many donations for rapid aid includes a substantial donation to South East Asia's Tsunami victims. The foundation also reframes perceptions of Islam and the West through dialogue, programs and educational centers around the world in order to promote a greater understanding between the different faiths and world views, part of which includes an endowment to the Louvre Museum in support of its collection of Islamic art.

* Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation- Global is registered in Lebanon