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Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian Television

Channel One of Saudi Arabian Television held a Tsunami Relief Telethon on Thursday 6th January and raised US$82 million. People filed into a Riyadh stadium and television studio to drop cash and gold jewellery into glass boxes. The 12-hour telethon switched between shots of donors at the boxes, interviews with prominent personalities, and scenes of the devastation and suffering left by the tsunami. A woman in black robes walked into the stadium carrying her child. When she got to the boxes, she took off her gold bracelets and dropped them in. A primary schoolboy gave his daily allowance. Ailing King Fahd donated £2.8m (€4m) and de-facto ruler Crown Prince Abdullah donated €982,000, according to TV reports.

Qatar

Al Jazeera

January 12th 2005. Arabic-language satellite news channel Al Jazeera (http://www.aljazeera.net) has launched a campaign to collect donations for the victims of the Asian tsunami disaster. The Qatar-based broadcaster said the campaign is being organised in coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent.

A spokesperson for Al Jazeera told the Association of International Broadcasters (http://www.aib.org.uk/): “Al Jazeera felt that it is its duty, as prescribed by Article 9 of its Code of Professional Ethics, to actively assist in alleviating some of the human suffering caused by one of the most unfortunate disasters since Al Jazeera’s inception as a news organization. We are not a charity, and hence are not equipped to handle the relief effort ourselves. We decided to take this initiative in co-operation with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent. We enhanced the appeal for donations by hosting on our screen, at peak hours during the day, renowned Arab dignitaries in fields ranging from politics, social, cultural etc. calling on our audience to donate. We have had appeals from Moslem as well as non-Moslem dignitaries. Al Jazeera has been the first Arab media organisation to undertake this effort”.