One Night to Change Lives: An Oxfam x DIFF x Dubai Cares Charity Gala
Featuring Rooney Mara, Mark Ruffalo, Naomie Harris and more
It was a night of film stars and philanthropy at the Armani Hotel in Dubai as the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) unfurled the red carpet for 'One Night to Change Lives', the annual glittering gala fundraiser in aid of UAE-based philanthropic organisation, Dubai Cares, and global development and aid agency, Oxfam. A host of international stars, led by Mark Ruffalo, Rooney Mara and Naomie Harris, turned out to support the charity event, raising a total of over US$ 1 million from its much-awaited auction that featured exclusive experiences and prized collectibles, including treasured James Bond memorabilia - which Buro 24/7 Middle East exclusively revealed at the end of November.
Mark Ruffalo, with wife Sunrise Coigney
Successfully staged for the third consecutive year, the charity auction and gala dinner was held under the patronage of UN Messenger of Peace HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the Armani Hotel in Dubai. All proceeds from last night went to Dubai Cares and Oxfam to support their work responding to the current crisis in Syria.
The stellar line-up of celebrities who came to support the fundraiser emphasised the urgency of the appeal as they conducted the exclusive auction of 'money can't buy' experiences and highly-coveted items. Oxfam Global Ambassador Mark Ruffalo conducted the auction for one of the exclusive experiences up for grabs, two tickets to the world premiere of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which was donated by fellow Oxfam supporter Scarlett Johansson. "Scarlett has donated this incredible prize because she has travelled with Oxfam and met refugees from other crises herself and always supports this event. She is a passionate advocate for humanitarian aid and I know she will be hoping that this prize will raise big, big money for vital work with Syrian refugees. So please, please make this a really big one - bid whatever you can for this amazing prize", Ruffalo said as he urged the audience for bids.
Other celebrities who also supported the evening were Naomie Harris and Lindiwe Matshikiza, stars of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; The Living Daylights actress Maryam D'Abo; DJ and Bond actor Goldie; and Bollywood stars Arjun Rampal and Rahul Bose, an Oxfam Global Ambassador. Main lots featured in the auction included the one-of-a-kind James Bond themed Aston Martin Vanquish; exclusive tickets to the next Bond world premiere; a selection of iconic memorabilia from Bond films throughout the years; and, Abolfazl Lireh's and Afsaneh Taebi's paintings donated by the Farjam Foundation.
Funds raised from the night would go to support works by Dubai Cares and Oxfam benefiting Syrian displaced children and their families in Lebanon (Tripoli and surrounding areas) and Jordan (Balqa and Zarqa governorates) by providing them with basic supplies during the three months of winter, the harshest period of the year, composed of shelter; food assistance; water, sanitation and hygiene facilities; winter clothing; and children's education packages. This assistance is crucial to the refugee children and their families who live in informal tented communities.