Under the auspices of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Al-Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, President of Mentor International, and Prince Turki Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Mentor Arabia organized its 2013 digitally themed gala dinner at Prestige at The Avenues – Kuwait.
More than 400 guests from all over the world were invited to take a closer look at Mentor Arabia’s work in the field of drug prevention and awareness for children andyouth.
Mr. Mohammed Alshaya, Executive Chairman of M.H. Alshaya Co., a member of the board at Mentor Arabia and the host of the event, gave the opening speech where he thanked the attendees and stressed the need for businesses, governments and parents to help organizations such as Mentor Arabia in the fight against drugs and in the protection of young people.
Prince Turki Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz, Chairman of the Board at Mentor Arabia and a Mentor International Trustee, mentioned the various reasons for the constant growth and speed of this deadly phenomenon and called for a whole new way of thinking and approach to deal with this matter, as well as the need for proper investment.
“Resolving the issue of drugs in the Arab world requires a modern, scientific and conceptual framework which leads to dealing properly with this dilemma. The time has come to expand the network of dialogue.”
Her Majesty The Queen said that the drug problem exists both internationally and in the region, and is spreading faster than ever. She pointed to the fact that for years the issue of drugs in general has been left hidden due to cultural and political barriers. However she said that there were some positive signs, with many countries in the Arab region starting to acknowledge the problem and carrying out different levels of studies.
Her Majesty also mentioned that in most countries within the Arab region, drug use is becoming a public health crisis, with consequences at the economic, health, legal, and social level. Drug addiction not only has economic costs, but also leads to social destruction, family dysfunction, health and psychological problems and crimes.
“The smartest way to help our young population have healthy and positive lives would be to invest in them.”
An awards ceremony for Mentor Arabia’s Trustees followed, where Her Majesty The Queen, Prince Turki Bin Talal, Mr. Mohammed Alshaya and members of the board, were each given a trophy in acknowledgement of their contributions and dedication.
For the event’s grand finale, a live auction conducted by the world renowned auctioneer Mr. Simon De Pury took place. Items generously donated by various individuals and corporations were on display, including antiques, as well as a painting that was created live as the dinner took place and finished in time for the auction.
In the build-up to the event, Mentor Arabia collaborated with H&M to create an online t-shirt slogan competition which allowed the 10,000+ fans on Mentor Arabia’s page to submit anti-drug slogans through a specially created Facebook application. The competition reached almost 700,000 people across the Arab world with hundreds of slogans submitted.
The 1st prize winning slogan, “Don’t Waste Your Time Being Wasted”, was designed and printed on H&M t-shirts and sold at the H&M stores. Fifty per cent of the proceeds from the purchase price were donated to Mentor Arabia.
Mentor Arabia also teamed up with Starbucks to promote a healthy drug-free lifestyle among children and youth, through in-store material and online content.
The campaign aimed to educate customers and raise awareness about drug use across the region, as building awareness and sparking conversation are crucial to addressing the issue.
The scene of the event, Grand Avenue – The Avenues Kuwait, was branded with ceiling banners and flags prior to the dinner, focusing on messages of hope and call to action for a drug-free Arabia.
The right ingredients, individuals and corporations from various sectors got together and united for one common cause, to protect the children and youth of the Arab world from the deadly phenomenon of drugs. Collaboration is key if we are ever to fight and win this long hard battle.
Mentor Arabia would like to thank each and every organization, company and individual who took part in this event.
Together we made a difference.