• 17 August 2020

Under the patronage and in the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Cabinet Member, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence; Dubai Cares, part of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, Atlantis, The Palm, and world-renowned artist Sacha Jafri launched “Humanity Inspired”, a charitable initiative which will witness Jafri creating the first-of-its kind artwork, ‘The World’s Largest Painting to have ever been Created on Canvas’, in partnership with Guinness World Records to set their official record for ‘The Largest Art Canvas’ in the World.

This initiative, which is imbued by Sacha’s vision to connect people post the COVID-19 pandemic in order to tackle the devastating impact of the virus on children and youth, aims to raise more than AED 110 million (USD 30 million) to connect with 1 billion people worldwide, and support Dubai Cares and its partners, such as the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as they collectively embark on a global initiative to scale up digital connectivity to ensure minimal disruption to education and provide equitable access to remote learning for all children and youth globally. “Humanity Inspired” will also support The Global Gift Foundation who will focus on their main charitable objective of supporting key-projects focusing on children’s education and wellbeing, targeting those most in need in the aftermath of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Partners from the public sector in the UAE including the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence, Ministry of Education, as well as the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) are also joining the initiative.

His Excellency hailed the UAE for becoming a global leading force in strengthening and establishing bridges of international cooperation, communication and convergence by spreading the culture of tolerance, coexistence and peace through all layers of its diverse and multi-cultural society, stressing that the “Humanity Inspired” initiative is a true reflection of these efforts through providing children and youth regardless of their gender, nationality, race or religion with opportunities to connect and have access to connectivity in order to pursue their education.

Jafri’s Project: ‘Humanity Inspired’

With a tagline of ‘Let’s Paint the World a Different Colour’, and centered around the themes of ‘Isolation’ and ‘Connection’, Jafri’s Humanity Inspired initiative was driven by the window of opportunity for change during the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative has set the ambitious target of engaging with tens of millions of children around the world.

Jafri’s ground-breaking work of Art entitled ‘The Journey of Humanity’, (described as ‘The Modern-Day Sistine Chapel’), will be the largest worldwide social, artistic and philanthropic initiative in history. Jafri is creating this painting in Atlantis, The Palm’s ballroom over a period of 20 Weeks, having converted it into the largest Artist’s Studio in the World. His creation, due to be completed by September 7th, is now endorsed by more than 100 celebrities from across the globe, including: Virat Kohli, Eva Longoria,  Deepak Chopra, Brooklyn Beckham, Holly Branson, Ronan Keating, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith, Shilpa Shetty, Pixie Lott, Leona Lewis, Nile Rodgers, David Walliams, Katie Piper, Luis Fonsi, Kylian Mbappe, Kirsty Gallacher, Rita Ora, among others.

With less than half of the world’s population being online today and in light of the significant disparities between industrialized and developing countries that remain in place, providing access to connectivity has become a priority for the international community. This reality has pushed Dubai Cares and its partners to work together to launch a Global Declaration on Connectivity with the aim of promoting access to connectivity for learning and livelihoods as a right of every young person around the world. “Humanity Inspired” and Artist Sacha Jafri, will play a pivotal role in supporting this global declaration.

His Excellency praised ‘Humanity Inspired’ initiative which acts as a platform to further the UAE's leading role in the field of digital cooperation and smart cities, which was highlighted by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council during his keynote address at a virtual high-level event for the launch of the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation chaired by the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Speaking about the significance of this charitable initiative, Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares and Member of its Board of Directors said: “The COVID-19 pandemic forced 192 countries to close down schools and universities, affecting more than 1.5 billion school-aged children and youth, which represent around 90% of the world’s student population. More than 60 million teachers were also no longer in the classroom. Given this reality, we are very excitedto join forces with Atlantis The Palm and Sacha Jafri in this ambitious charitable initiative. I am confident that this inspirational initiative will help us tackle the impact of this pandemic on education by promoting access to connectivity and equipping children and youth globally with the digital resources they need to pursue their education. Putting art at the service of the common good is without a doubt what motivated Jafri’s “Humanity Inspired” initiative, bringing together key partners under one umbrella with the aim to raise vital fundsto give marginalized children and youth the chance for a better life, through the power of education.”

The initiative will see a number of reputed partners from UN agencies, UAE Government entities, NGOs and the private sector working together to further promote its mission. For example, Dubai Cares will manage the entire campaign locally and globally by coordinating with all partners and stakeholders to ensure alignment and successful delivery, while UNESCO and UNICEF will garner support from strategic global stakeholders such as key public figures and influential advocates, whereas the Global Gift Foundation will invite additional global celebrities to increase reach and visibility worldwide. Moreover, in the UAE, the Ministry of Education will be inviting students from all schools across the country to submit their artwork. Furthermore, the distance learning model that the Ministry of Education adopted as an alternative to schooling amid COVID-19 outbreak, will complement the Global Declaration on Connectivity, as one of the major success stories of the UAE. In addition, the Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence and the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) will engage their networks to promote this initiative, thereby enabling “Humanity Inspired” to deliver on its promise, while Atlantis The Palm will capitalize on its global hotel network and its guests’ portfolio to boost the exposure for the initiative. By adapting the Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) model, the involvement of such partners does not only address Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on education, but also extends to other SDGs such as SDG 9 on innovation and technology; SDG 10 on reducing inequality within and among countries; SDG 11 on safeguarding culture and natural heritage; as well as SDG 17 on revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development.

Jafri’s painting, at over 1,800 square meters, will be larger than two football pitches end-to-end, and will be unveiled to the world at Atlantis, The Palm in November 2020. It will then be projected onto the UAE’s most iconic landmarks, and housed in the world’s leading Museums. After touring, ‘The Journey of Humanity’ will be broken down into 60 individually numbered, signed, catalogued, and framed canvases which will be auctioned and sold during a gala dinner in December 2020, in collaboration with, Dubai Cares, UNICEF, UNESCO and The Global Gift Foundation at Atlantis, The Palm. The auction will additionally welcome buyers from across the world via live-streaming to more than 140 countries. Each successful bidder will own a piece of the largest painting ever created on canvas, and more significantly, a piece of history.

Memorializing what isolation and connection mean in the eyes of a child amid the COVID-19 outbreak, this initiative aims to engage with tens of millions of children around the world by inviting them to submit their drawings, pictures, paintings, collages and sketches via www.Humanity-Inspired.com. Inspired by the emotions and expressions of these children, Sacha will incorporate their ‘artworks’ into the first layer of his Canvas (the Soul), within huge circular portals which will serve as windows to portray a better future from a child’s perspective - ‘Windows to a Better World’.

Speaking about his impetus for the ambitious initiative, which is being sponsored by Dana Holdings and Four Seasons Ramesh Gallery, Sacha Jafri said:“After a conversation with UNICEF earlier in the year, my eyes were opened to the fact that an estimated 385 million children live in extreme poverty around the world and these children are twice as likely to die in childhood. These numbers have almost doubled in the last four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic has affected every community across the globe and taken the lives of thousands, but it has also changed our mindset, and this means we have a window of opportunity for change. My initiative, ‘Humanity Inspired’ aims to be a catalyst for true societal change through the HEARTS, MINDS & SOULS of the children of the world – a springboard for a better future for ALL Humanity. I aim toconnect the world, and re-connect Humanity to ourselves, each other, and ultimately ‘The Soul of the Earth’. My Painting, ‘The Journey of Humanity’ will support the delivery of improved education & connectivity, as well as create vital funds in support of the poorest and most desperately in need areas and regions of our planet - for those children & their families that need it most. I hope that my ground-breaking creation will help to further advocate global logistical support for Health and Sanitation within the worst hit refugee camps, slums, town-Ships, shanties, favelas & poverty-stricken communities of the World. I thank Dubai Cares and Atlantis, The Palm for making my dream come true.”

Speaking about the philanthropic, record-breaking venture, Timothy Kelly,Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Atlantis Dubai said: “As one of the world’s leading family destinations, we are honored to support an initiative that will help to unite and strengthen different societies at a time when we need it most, while capturing the imaginations of children and their families across the globe. This initiative, which aligns itself with our ongoing corporate social responsibility efforts, will achieve many milestones while raising much-needed support for children, as well as bringing positive change into the lives of so many. We are proud to support Sacha Jafri, Dubai Cares and other global charitable organizations in this humanitarian initiative.”

Talal Omar, Director – MENA at Guinness World Records said: “We are delighted to work with Dubai Cares, Atlantis The Palm and Sacha Jafri alongside Humanity Inspired partners involved in this world record attempt, because supporting the community is at the heart of what we do. There are many challenges facing children across the world today. We are pleased to be part of this initiative, and with this spirit of philanthropy comes a responsibility to get the message across. We are here to support this initiative and promote the efforts of those who are involved. We are delighted to give them a chance to become Officially Amazing.”

About Sacha Jafri

Jafri has raised just over $60 million USD, from the sale of his work over the last 18 years, for the most deserving and notable of charitable causes, campaigns and foundations.He is twice winner of The GGF ‘World Artist of the Year’, as well as The Global Gift Foundation’s Artist/Humanitarian of the Year, and the UN’s most prestigious award, ‘The Karic Brothers - Humanitarian of the Year’ (previously won by Martin Luther King Jnr).

Jafri was the youngest artist to history (at 42yrs) to be offered an 18yr Retrospective World Tour, (visiting 30x Cities in 24x Countries), with his work having been showcased in the most prominent art Institutions across the globe. Jafri's work now regularly sells for between USD $2-4 million, with his ‘Virat Kohli Painting’ (officially celebrating the career of India’s greatest ever Cricket Captain) becoming the most expensive Sporting Painting ever sold by a Living Artist when it sold at Auction in London for £2.9million GBPounds ($4.5million USDollars). Jafri’s collectors include such heavy weights as: The UAE Ruling Family, The British Royal Family, Sir Richard Branson, Sir Paul McCartney, David Beckham, Eva Longoria, George Clooney, Simon Cowell, Huda Kattan, Roger Federer, Ronaldo, Eric Clapton, Deepak Chopra, Sir Terence Conran, Sir Paul Smith, Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo DiCaprio, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Sonam Kapoor, amongst many others.

Recent commissions include: EXPO 2020, ‘Jafri Meets Warhol’, The Official 2019 World Cup Cricket Painting, HRH Prince William’s commission ‘Polo’s Greatest’ in aid of His Highness’s Charity ‘The Royal Foundation’ (& Sacha and William’s like-minded and heart-felt & personal campaign on issues of mental health), A commission by the FA to celebrate 25yrs of English Football’s ‘Premier League’, commissions to officially celebrate the lives and careers of such luminaries as: Roger Federer, Tiger Woods,  Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Queen Elizabeth II, David Bowie, & Michael Jordan.., as well as further commissions including: The Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games Painting, a commission by Disney officially celebrating 20yrs of their beloved ‘Lion King’, and most notably HRH Prince Charles’s commission – described as ‘The Commission of the Century’ to create 100 celebrational paintings honoring ‘The One Hundred Greatest and Most Influential Living Muslims.’

To submit a piece of your child’s art work, or to stay updated on the initiative’s progress, please visit www.Humanity-Inspired.com or follow the project on social media @sachajafri #humanityinspired #WeStandTogetherUnited #StrongerTogether The deadline for the children’s art-work submissions is 1st September, 2020.

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