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Emirati uses football to cheer up orphans around the world
By Jamil Khan August 09, 2017
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SHARJAH: Through the Beyond the Boundaries of Football Initiative, Salem Al Karbi has moved to put smiles on the faces of underprivileged children, orphans and patients around the world, regardless of geographic, religious or ethnic differences. Al Karbi has availed of football charity matches to realise this feat.

“Sports must bring together all people in the world. I saw the joy in the eyes of children as they received gifts, toys and chocolate. This motivated me to enhance the initiative to reach out to all children in the world,” he said, in an exclusive interview with The Gulf Today.

Al Karbi started the initiative as an experiment in 2009 to organise a football match for children in Somalia. However, he faced unprecedented issues, which he did not anticipate.   

Sports initiatives

His name has been behind a number of sports initiatives, such as the tallest sport scarf in the world in the Guinness Book of Records for Al Wasl Club with the length of 1,129 metres in 2009.

He also gave the former US President Barack Obama an Al Wasl Club shirt bearing the number 44, as an indication that he was the 44th President of the United States of America.

Later in 2014, he came up with the idea of collaborating with accredited charitable organisations and organisations that help orphaned and sick children, to spread the message of Beyond the Boundaries of Football Initiative.

Charitable matches

So far, he has organised a number of charitable matches in seven countries around the world, including Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Zimbabwe, Belarus, Zambia, Armenia, Egypt, Malta, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Uganda, Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Morocco, Philippines and Croatia. Soon he plans to organise similar events for these children with local organisations in the UAE.

“Seeing the joy and happiness on the faces of underprivileged children gives me profound satisfaction and relief.

“This is a worthwhile cause and I urge everyone to follow suit, in their respective capacites,” he said.

He added that he has grand plans in the pipeline to ensure the expansion of the initiative, targeting especially orphans and disadvantaged children.

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