Emirati fashion label Qasimi is raising money for Save the Children International by reissuing one of its T-shirts.
First released for autumn/winter 2017, the Ohio T-Shirt features the words “Don’t Shoot”, which references the 1982 Lebanon War.
During the conflict, members of the press were given the original tops to wear, with the words "Don’t Shoot" written across the back in three languages – Arabic, French and English. With bright red letters on white, the aim was to make journalists easy to spot, giving them a modicum of protection as they covered the fighting.
Now, Qasimi is re-releasing the same top, with the hope of raising money for children, while highlighting the situation in Lebanon. The only change Qasimi has made is to add its name under the original wording.
During the months of August and September, Qasimi has pledged that all proceeds from online sales of the T-shirts will be donated to Save the Children International. The organisation has been working in Lebanon since 1953 to secure shelter, education, protection, food security and rights for children. It estimates that up to one million children – both Lebanese nationals and Syrian refugees – across the country are in need of urgent assistance.
According to Unicef, the deepening economic crisis has pushed half the population below the poverty line, with 15 per cent of children taken out of education, and one in 10 sent out to work.
Qasimi, founded in London in 2015 by the late Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, draws heavily on its Arab heritage.
“This T-shirt was something very personal to me. We’ve reworked it to highlight issues of the Middle East and what’s happening in the Middle East at the moment,” Al Qasimi said, when he first launched them in 2017.
Following his death in 2019, his twin sister Sheikha Hoor bint Sultan Al Qasimi took over the label, adding her own voice to his, and expanding the brand into womenswear.
This is not the first time the T-shirt has been used to raise money for Lebanon. After the port explosion that destroyed parts of Beirut on August 4, 2020, killing at least 190 people and injuring thousands, Qasimi pledged that all proceeds from the T-Shirt would go to the Lebanese Red Cross.