Children from across the Middle East, North Africa and South East Asia see their dreams come true with Lionel Messi as Ooredoo launches new online initiative to support ‘human growth'
Doha, Qatar: Following Lionel “Leo” Messi's recent visit to Qatar as Ooredoo's new global brand ambassador, Ooredoo has launched “Play for Dreams” (www.playfordreams.com<!--[if !supportNestedAnchors]--><!--[endif]-->) –an online portaldedicated to creating, capturing and continuing the moments that enrich people's lives. The portal will be developed to store and feature future examples where Ooredoo has helped to make dreams come true and to stimulate human growth with a number of proposed initiatives which will be announced later this year.
Ooredoo has launched the portal with a series of short films, capturing the moment when itteamed up with the Leo Messi Foundation to bring dreams to life for a special group of children from across the globe.
Nineteen children arrived in Doha, Qatar to meet their idol, Messi, and Ooredoo caught their initial surprise and experiences on video before, during and after their meetings, to ensure these were more than just once-in-a-lifetime moments but experiences to last forever. These short films are now being posted online for the first time.
“Human growth in the communities in which we operate is the cornerstone of our new global brand. Young people should be given life chances to learn and find purpose in their lives – to have the opportunity to grow and to fulfil their potential. Making dreams come true for these young children is one small but important part of bringing this vision to life,” said H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, Chairman, Ooredoo.
“Football is a shared passion that unites youth in all Ooredoo operating countries; Messi is the role model to inspire and enrich young people to make the most of their life chances. With Messi on board, we recognised the opportunity we had to bring these children's dreams to life and now with “Play for Dreams” we want to show that we are committed to making this happen, today, tomorrow and continuing into the future,” he added.
Among the children to visit Qatar was Ali, an Iraqi child who has recently played Messi in a short movieshowcased at the Dubai International Film Festival and at Cannes. The film depicts Ali's dreams to become a professional footballer; playing among his fellow team mates but being told he has to stop due to a disability. Like many Iraqi children, Ali was affected by the country's recent years of instability and now only has one leg. “Meeting Messi will be a dream come true,” Ali said before meeting his role model at the event.
Salha, another of the lucky children to visit Qatar recently, was enlightened to learn that she had the opportunity to meet the hero of her imagination. When bulldozers came to demolish her family home over a year ago, Salhaturned to her imagination and authored a now award winning short story that outlined a dream in which she travelled with her flying lamb “Hantoush” to Spain to play with Messi.
After travelling back with her to help clear the land mines on her favourite football field in Palestine, she was offered a permanent place on his ‘dream team' but had to refuse after her responsibilities at home weighed in. In reality, Salha's father is serving a life sentence in prisonand at 15 years old, now takes responsibility of all the family's sheep. “I wrote the story because it's my biggest dream to meet Messi,” said Salha, “I never thought it would come true. I'm so grateful that it has.”
Ali and Salha were two among19 children to be taken to Qatar. The other children – Walid (Bizerte, Tunisia), Abdelmoumene (Algeria), Shalhan (Maldives), Emir and Zola (Indonesia), Hawre (Iraq), Mohammed (Oman) and Salman (Kuwait) to name but a few – all had similar dreams and fascinating backgrounds and “Play for Dreams” will be regularly updated to tell each of their respective stories.
Lionel Messi said: “I want to encourage children across the world to be positive and to live for the future.” Headded “I'm always glad to make a difference in communities and my Foundation helps me to do that, especially when it helps bring smiles to the faces of children. They have the most vivid imaginations and dreams, but only on rare occasions do these dreams come true – working with Ooredoo, I am delighted to be a part of something that can help make this happen.”
Visitors to the “Play for Dreams” portal will be invited to comment, view, read and share some of these amazing moments.
To join the “Play for Dreams” conversation, visit:
Play for Dreams: www.playfordreams.com