POSTED: Monday September 20th 2010


Bid Officials To Attend Opening of New Football Pitch on International Day of Peace

DOHA: 21 September 2010:  The Qatar 2022 Bid Committee will travel to Syria on Tuesday for the official opening of a FIFA standard artificial football pitch in Yarmouk Camp on the outskirts of Damascus, home to the largest Palestinian population in Syria. The event is a key milestone in the Bid Committee’s ‘Generation Amazing’ project, which aims to use sport as a tool for positive social and community development in four target countries: Syria, Lebanon, Nepal and Pakistan.

Qatar 2022 and project partners UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) have chosen ‘International Peace Day,’ as recognised by all 192 United Nations (UN) member states, for the inauguration of the pitch, highlighting the objectives of the program and its alignment with global efforts towards peace and inclusivity.  The Bid Committee has worked closely with ‘Peace One Day’ - the organisation behind the establishment of ‘International Peace Day.’

The redeveloped pitch, housed within the Palestine Athletic City, will host the events that will take place on September 21st most important of which is a football match between camp youth. The competing teams were selected through inter-school football tournaments held previously in the camp and under the auspices of Qatar 2022 through the ‘Generation Amazing’ project.  The teams will include Hani Hweileh and Mahmoud Morei, two of the Youth Ambassadors selected to accompany the Qatar 2022 delegation to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa last June.  Hani and Mahmoud will also be delivering speeches on behalf of the Special Adviser to the Secretary General of the UN and the President of FIFA respectively.  Hazar Al Tarifi, also a Youth Ambassador on the South Africa trip, will offer a thank you speech and an introduction to the day’s activities.

Qatar 2022 CEO Hassan Al Thawadi, commenting on the initiative in Syria, said, ‘We have set out to create a tangible development legacy with our unique ‘Generation Amazing’ initiative.  The pitch that we have redeveloped to FIFA standard in Yarmouk Camp is expected to cater to over 30,000 people in the future, and we hope that it acts as a catalyst for sustainable community development in the camp.  Holding the event on Peace Day underlines our goals for this project - to create a legacy of peace and social integration through the power of football.’

Roger Hearn, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Syria said, “This support from the 2022 Qatar Bid Committee will inspire future Palestinian generations to use sports to reach beyond social boundaries and excel within their community. UNRWA believes that young people inspire each other and this project will ensure our children play on pitches instead of streets”.

The project in Yarmouk is not limited to the rehabilitation of the football facilities.  Since the beginning of the year, 45 coaches and physical education teachers from UNRWA schools attended a workshop focusing on the administrative, technical and organisational components of coaching, and the use of football for community mobilisation.  The trainers utilised their skills and transferred their knowledge to 360 youth between the ages of 9 and 18. Earlier in the year, these children along with other camp youth took part in a Qatar 2022 sponsored football tournament, from which the three Youth Ambassadors were chosen to attend the World Cup in South Africa as guests of the Qatar 2022 Bid Committee.

The trip to South Africa, which included 22 children from the four targeted countries (Syria, Lebanon, Nepal and Pakistan) and three from Qatar, was made up of a variety of educational; cultural; and football activities for the children. A friendly match was organised against South African children in Soweto, as well as visits to the Apartheid museum, safari parks and cultural villages. The highlight of the trip for the children was the chance to attend a live FIFA World Cup match between Brazil and North Korea. 

For more information:
David Barrett
Qatar 2022 Media
+974 6642022

Hala Mukhles
UNRWA Public Information Officer
+963 (0) 940888103

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Keywords · Qatar 2022 · Hassan Al Thawadi · FIFA World Cup · Roger Hearn · UNRWA

Name: David Barrett
Organization: Qatar 2022 Bid Committee
Phone: +974 66422022

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