DUBAI // A group of Emirati artists and fashion designers will donate work to a charity auction for abused women and children. The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children will host the fundraising event during Ramadan on August 17. The shelter and rehabilitative facility supports victims of domestic violence, child abuse and trafficking. The organisation will auction off paintings donated by Abdul Rahim Salem, a renowned artist and the chairman of the Emirates Fine Arts Society, and Noor al Suwaidi.
Ms al Suwaidi, who works in the cultural department at the Tourism Development and Investment Company, will provide an abstract work. She has exhibited her art in London and Berlin. A photograph of Sheikh Zayed, the late President of the UAE, taken by Jamila al Hamli, an Emirati photographer, will be another of the lots. The foundation hopes to raise Dh70,000 to Dh90,000. Ms al Suwaidi said Ramadan was an important time to raise money as people were more generous. She also wanted to be part of the foundation's cause.
"The stories of the women and children are really sad and the work of the foundation is vital. They are fighting against taboos because people don't talk about these subjects. Maybe this format is easier to raise awareness," she said. Also at the event will be a fashion show of works from Fatma al Hashimi, who designs khaftans, and Homa Qamar and Hessa al Falasi, who design abayas. The Emirati designers will sell their clothes and contribute 10 per cent of sales to the charity.
Ms al Hashimi, a mother of two, who will be showing jalabiyas from her fashion label Noon Haute Couture, said helping other women was one of the main reasons she chose to contribute. "I am a woman and I understand women. I am also a mother and I know how much harder problems are to deal with when you have children and no support." Ohood al Suwaidi, the communications director for the foundation, said the proceeds from the event would alleviate the struggles of the women and children.
She added it would also be a way to introduce other cultures to the Ramadan traditions. "We will give a small presentation about our customs and traditions as well as the special foods we eat during the month. We want different cultures to share ours." About 270 people have been invited to the iftar which will take place at the ballroom of The Address Hotel, Dubai Mall. Tickets are also on sale online at Time Out Tickets.