Saudi volunteer foundation breaks Guinness record, bringing Eid joy to families in need

Ehtiwa seeks to bring smiles to the faces of needy families. (AFP/File photo)
Updated 06 June 2019

Saudi volunteer foundation breaks Guinness record, bringing Eid joy to families in need

  • Ehtiwa has launched over 70 charitable campaign in 8 years, with over 2,000 volunteers helping
  • Over half-a-million items were collected within 10 days this year

JEDDAH: Ehtiwa, a Saudi volunteer foundation, broke the Guinness World Record for the number of clothes collected during the recently concluded Ramadan, it has been revealed. 

The campaign, called “Keswat Farah,” was launched in Riyadh and the Eastern Province for the eighth year in a row, and broke the record on May 28.  A group of nearly 2,000 volunteers collected over 500,000 pieces of clothes donated by members of the public.

The clothes were then classified, cleaned, prepared and packaged, before being sent to the “Keswat Farah” showroom for visitors to collect in a private, dignified space.

“Families are not given pre-selected items, they can go ‘shopping’ and choose what they like,” Ashwag Al-Nashwan, head of media and marketing for Ehtiwa, told Arab News.

Speaking of the campaign’s role and concept, Al-Nashwan added: “One of our missions is to ensure that families in need are treated with dignity and respect. Seeing smiles on families’ faces is the greatest reward our organization and strong community of volunteers can ever receive.”

Ehtiwa seeks to promote the spirit of volunteering and the values of giving, compassion, cooperation and empathy in Saudi society, as part of Saudi Vision 2030. The campaign had set a goal of collecting over 500,000 items for 2,700 families in need, and in meeting its target, succeeded in breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of clothes collected for donation.

The 2,000 volunteers who participated were mostly women, with over 200,000 working hours spent on the campaign.

 

 

Decoder

Keswat Farah

The word is an Arabic word referring to the action of buying or giving new clothes at Eid Al-Fitr to family members or to those in need, and the word "farah" means "happy".


Saudi Arabia's envoy to UK: We won’t allow Iran to meddle in region 

Updated 25 January 2020

Saudi Arabia's envoy to UK: We won’t allow Iran to meddle in region 

  • “You cannot give in to a country like Iran because they will see it as a sign of weakness,” Prince Khalid said
  • The ambassador encouraged people to visit his country before forming an opinion of it

LONDON: Riyadh does not seek conflict with Tehran but will not let “Iran’s meddling in the region” go unchecked, said the Saudi ambassador to Britain. 
“We do not seek conflict. We do not seek escalation. We have always been supporters of taking a firm stand against Iran. Our issue is not with the people of Iran, it is with the regime running the country,” Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan told the Daily Telegraph. 
“But we do not believe in appeasement. At no point in history has appeasement proved to be a successful strategy. You cannot give in to a country like Iran because they will see it as a sign of weakness.”
France, Germany and the UK, three of the signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), triggered a “dispute resolution mechanism” recently in response to Iran ramping up its nuclear program in violation of the deal.
Prince Khalid criticized the JCPOA because it does not address “all the other things that Iran” is doing in the region.
“Iran’s meddling in the region is as challenging as the nuclear program. This is why we were concerned with the nuclear deal,” he said.
The ambassador also touched on recent allegations that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in hacking the phone of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
“It is very easy for people to throw these unsubstantiated allegations against Saudi Arabia because they know that it is very difficult for Riyadh to defend itself when it does not have proper access to the details,” Prince Khalid said.
“We need to see the evidence before we make any response, because the evidence made public so far is circumstantial at best.”
Saudis do not always represent themselves well because they are “a reticent people and our culture does not push us to talking about ourselves,” he said. “We need to do a better job on showing the world who we really are.” 
The ambassador, who was appointed last year, encouraged people to visit his country before forming an opinion of it. 
“There are a lot of misconceptions about Saudi Arabia. We want people to come and see Saudi Arabia for themselves, and not rely on what they have read somewhere or heard somewhere to form their opinion of the country,” he said.
“There is plenty to see, and you will find a warm, generous and hospitable people there waiting to greet you.”