VODA­FONE QATAR WITH­DRAWS SUPPORT FOR CHAR­ITY TRIP

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The Voda­fone-spon­sored 'My First Ama­zon Ad­ven­ture' ended on a sour note after an out­cry on so­cial me­dia and the company's ter­mi­na­tion of support for the trip.

Seven young Qataris were given the chance to ex­pe­ri­ence the wild Amazonian jun­gles dur­ing a three-week ad­ven­ture, cul­mi­nat­ing in build­ing a school for one of the most re­mote com­mu­ni­ties liv­ing in the rain­for­est, as part of Voda­fone's global "Firsts" ini­tia­tive. Dur­ing the course of the reg­u­lar up­dates of the trip be­ing made on so­cial me­dia sites, a deeply po­lar­is­ing de­bate on cul­ture and tra­di­tions was sparked off, par­tic­u­larly after pic­tures and videos were posted of the girls not wear­ing their head­scarves dur­ing their ex­cur­sion. De­spite over­whelm­ing support among young Qataris for the trip and what it rep­re­sents, the tele­com op­er­a­tor re­leased a state­ment say­ing it was “com­pletely with­draw­ing from this project and ceas­ing all kinds of support to it, re­flect­ing the Chair­man's com­mit­ment to see­ing Voda­fone Qatar pro­vid­ing the best ser­vices and ini­tia­tives that are suit­able to the norms and val­ues of the Qatari cul­ture”. This an­nounce­ment fur­ther in­censed sup­port­ers who blamed Voda­fone Qatar for cav­ing un­der pres­sure and “abandoning” the young men and women for whom it had as­sumed re­spon­si­bil­ity.

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