Hassan Suleiman “AboFlah” with titles for the longest live-stream (video) and the most viewers for a charity donation live streamed on YouTube. He was part of the 'Warm Winter' charity drive by the UAE. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The 'World’s Coolest Winter' campaign of the UAE has announced the successful completion of the 'Warm Winter' initiative by achieving its target after collecting donations worth over $11 million allocated to more than 110,000 families in the Arab region and Africa, enabling them to overcome the harsh winter cold and secure their basic needs.

The successful campaign hosted by Hassan Suleiman “AboFlah” and organised by The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Food Banking Regional Network (FBRN), achieved two Guinness World Records titles for the longest live-stream (video) and the most viewers for a charity donation live streamed on YouTube.

Along the way, AboFlah recorded 268 hours, 14 minutes and 20 seconds of live streaming during 12 days. He also has received the most viewers watching a livestream humanitarian campaign on YouTube, around 698,000 viewers at the same time, reaching a total number of 163 million views through YouTube. The current longest live-stream (video), at 259 hours, 46 minutes and 45 seconds, is held by Chongqing Changan Automobile Co in China. There is no record holder for the most viewers watching a livestream charity donation, but the minimum requirement is 300,000 concurrent views. AboFlah’s efforts will lead to new records in both fields after they have been independently verified.

The Warm Winter initiative, in which YouTuber Hassan Suleiman, better known online as AboFlah, participated through a live broadcast, was launched on January 7, and received wide-ranging regional and global response, as it garnered widespread sympathy and was embraced by hundreds of thousands of activists on social media. The number of donors reached more than 155,000 from 120 countries, with total donations worth $11,053,174 to be provided as material aid to help 110,531 families.

3.8 million refugees in the region suffer from the cold of winter, storms and continuous rain, according to UNHCR statistics, in addition to millions of underprivileged families in the Arab region and Africa.

Fans cheering for AboFlah in Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

UAE's leading position 

Sara Al Nuaimi, director of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, stressed that the great response to the Warm Winter campaign launched by the World’s Coolest Winter campaign in cooperation with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives and other international entities, helped enhance the UAE’s leading global position in finding and activating channels of humanitarian action through pioneering initiatives that allow everyone to carry out their duty towards underprivileged segments and help them lead a decent life. 

She said: “We are proud of what we have achieved, and we thank everyone who helped us reach this achievement that reflects the society’s keen interest in participating in charity work and lend a helping hand to anyone that needs it regardless of their religion, color or race. This also emphasizes the humanitarian spirit of the region’s population and the continuity of the UAE’s great values in helping the underprivileged across the globe.”

Humanitarian hub

For his part, Khaled Khalifa, Senior Advisor & Representative to the GCC, UNHCR, commended the efforts of the campaign’s organisers and supporters. He expressed his happiness with the success of the campaign, which showcases humanitarian solidarity in a digital world.

He said: “This is a new achievement for the UAE’s long track record of humanitarian initiatives.” 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees contributes to providing support to millions of refugees and displaced people in the region, and through its cooperation with partners in institutional and sustainable humanitarian work such as MBRGI, it can implement large-scale campaigns to provide aid to hundreds of thousands of refugees who face life-threatening cold temperatures.

Humanitarian solidarity

Dr Moez El Shohdi, Founder and CEO of the Food Banking Regional Network, highlighted that the campaigns success reflects the significance of social efforts led by the UAE, to aid individuals and families in need across refugee camps in the region, in collaboration with the UN.

El Shohdi said: “The humanitarian initiative launched by the World’s Coolest Winter campaign, in collaboration with the famous YouTuber AboFlah, provides essential needs for warmth to those who need it most. The initiative embodies the values of giving and humanitarian solidarity, feeling with the circumstances of those less fortunate. Such humanitarian campaigns and initiatives are the only tool to save millions of people from suffering and offering them indispensable support. We can’t even begin to imagine the trials and tribulations of those who can’t provide strength and warmth for their families.”

He added: “We were honored to collaborate with Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives to collect more than $11 million with the aim of helping refugees in less fortunate countries. We will coordinate with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to distribute the donations.”

'All for One, and One for All'

In line with his belief in the role of society, AboFlah dedicated his efforts to support humanitarian causes. He is proud and delighted to see the results from his 12-day live feed, which will help more than 110,000 refugee families during the winter.

AboFlah said: “We proved that Arab youth are capable of changing reality, even if just a little, for a brighter future. We showed the world that when we come together, we can make great impact. The large number of donations received for the campaign from those who felt with the refugees rings true that we are all for one and one for all.”

He added: “The role of society depends on everyone’s participation, and belief in the importance of high human values and solidarity to support those less fortunate. We each have a role to play, and we can make a positive impact. The UAE is no stranger to good deeds and humanitarian work. This nation has always gone above and beyond to give, and offer social humanitarian values that our region desperately needs.”