Majid Al Futtaim Fashion Leads Visionary Collaboration between Art, Charity, and Corporate in Support of Special Needs Children
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, 12 February 2012 – Majid Al Futtaim Fashion, the apparel retailing arm of Majid Al Futtaim Ventures, is collaborating with internationally recognized artist Sacha Jafri and Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs to create a piece of artwork celebrating the lives of special needs children.
A workshop will be held from March 18th – 19th at the Gate Village in DIFC, where Jafri will work with approximately 20 children from Al Noor to create a unique representation of the past, present, and future visions of the students. Jafri will work together with the Children on March 18th and will work alone to bring the piece to conclusion during the 19th and 20th of March at the same venue.
“We are honored to be working with the talented Sacha Jafri in support of Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs,” says Asil Attar, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Fashion. “The constellation of Sacha Jafri, Al Noor and Majid Al Futtaim Fashion is a personally-driven collaboration about passion between individuals who have one common goal: to raise awareness for Al Noor and to underline the children’s skills. It is truly a celebration of the talents of special needs children and the support of the DIFC has been invaluable in enabling us to realize this vision. I encourage everyone to come out to view the inspiring workshop and to experience the children creating this compelling piece of artwork.”
The installation will be up until March 24th at the Gate Village in DIFC with the unveiling of the final art piece happening on April 18th at an invite-only auction dinner. All proceeds from the auction will go towards Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs. Al Noor fosters the creative skills of the children at the centre by allowing them to express themselves freely, an ability often lost by many adults. A self-funded organization, Al Noor relies on the support of donations to sustain its programs. Private bids are encouraged for the artwork, with the goal of securing a bid of AED one million.
“I want the children of Al Noor to express their relationship with their past, present and future through their eyes, hearts, minds and spirits and get them excited about painting. I aim to have a final piece of the children’s unique life story in layers of paint, revealing their truth and identity,” says Sacha Jafri. Jafri is a renowned contemporary artist with studios in London and New York. He has been instrumental in charities throughout the Middle East, including a collaboration with Al Noor in 2011 to raise nearly one million AED.
Majid Al Futtaim Fashion’s aim is to empower the Al Noor students through investing in their training and supporting their development. “We strive towards enhancing the children’s lives by enabling them to gain independence and establish career paths in an exciting retail environment,” Attar adds. Majid Al Futtaim Fashion and Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs previously worked together on the Hands & Hearts initiative to highlight the creative abilities of children from the centre.
“We have worked with Majid Al Futtaim Fashion and Sacha Jafri separately on previous occasions. They strongly believe in the Al Noor cause and it is now wonderful that they have chosen to collaboratively and creatively continue their support, as always with a focus on our children’s ability,” says Isphana Al Khatib, Director of Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs. “The ongoing support of Majid Al Futtaim Fashion and the Dubai community has been instrumental in sustaining some of the organization’s programs and positively affecting the children involved.” Since May 2011 HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Dalmook Bin Juma Al Maktoum and HH Sheikh Rashed Bin Dalmook Bin Juma Al Maktoum have kindly pledged their support to Al Noor as Royal Patrons.
The partnership between art, charity, and corporate is a display of unity for a notable cause in support of the development of special needs children. The personal passion of Attar and Majid Al Futtaim Fashion to highlight the importance of CSR, the creative genius of Jafri’s live art and Al Noor’s wonderful children’s inspiring abilities will come together in one truly unique collaboration.
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About Majid Al Futtaim Fashion:
Majid Al Futtaim Fashion is one of the subsidiaries of Majid Al Futtaim Ventures. It currently operates a number of leading fashion brands throughout the GCC & Levant region including Juicy Couture, HOSS Intropia, Jane Norman and Mexx, with the newest edition to its portfolio being IT’SUGAR.
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About Al Noor
Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs is a non-profit organization which falls under the Ministry of Social Affairs. For the past 30 years, Al Noor has been providing high quality professional training to the special needs community in Dubai. In 1981, we started with 8 children and have since grown to a recognized establishment with over 270 students. In 2007, we moved to our own premises in Al Barsha. Our purpose-built facility has been donated to us by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE, Ruler of Dubai and through the benefaction of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein.
The Centre can accommodate up to 300 special children. Our current roster comprises of 270 children from 30 nationalities with various physical and cognitive challenges such as Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Autism. Al Noor uses a transdisciplinary approach to implement its training programme and in addition to teaching, offers Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Psychological services, Sports and Music. Al Noor also has its own Work Placement Unit which trains students with a capability for open employment.
About Sacha Jafri
At 34 years, Jafri is the youngest living artist in the history of art to have had a 10 year retrospective; he is now described as being one of the world’s most celebrated young artists. Jafri's work now typically sells for between $250,000-$750,000 with his recent live painting selling in auction at the Islamic Museum in Doha for $1million Dollars. Jafri has recently appeared on the front cover of the Financial Times, Singapore Times and Gulf News. With his sell-out World Tour shown alongside a previously lost Andy Warhol collection entitled ‘Jafri meets Warhol’, he has now been described by the BBC as being: “A Shrewd Investment”. Jafri has since been appointed as one of the official London 2012 Olympic Artists and his imminent latest collection ‘Universe of the Child’ is set to tour the world next year, opening at the Royal Academy in 2012.