By Ismail Kamal Kushkush – London
A newly established British charity is seeking to help raise funds for the children of Gaza by sponsoring an event that seeks to break the Guinness Book world-record for the number of people running 100 meters in a 24-hour relay.
"We are trying to get 4,000 runners to run 100 meters in a 24-hour relay," Rahul Tarafder, communications director for IF charity, told IslamOnline.net.
The Gaza 100, the charity’s first project, aims to promote public participation in innovative, fun campaigns and fundraising projects and sweeping aside all "ifs" and "buts."
"Each participant will have to raise a minimum sponsorship of £100, so we are hoping to raise at least £400,000 for the children of Gaza."
The current world-record was set in Latvia in 2008 with 3,807 runners.
The event is scheduled for Saturday 23 May, at London’s Mile End Stadium.
Funds raised at the event will be directed to the charity group Save the Children-UK and its Gaza Appeal.
"We are working in partnership with Save the Children," explains Naweeda Ahmad, IF’s projects manager.
"We won’t be taking any administration cost; funds go as direct aid to Gaza."
According to a January Save the Children fact sheet, 314 children were killed and 860 wounded during Israel’s recent three-week Gaza war.
Sixty- one schools and thirty-four health facilities were damaged or destroyed.
"Money will be going to projects and Save the Children gave us a breakdown," Ahmad continues.
Riz Khaliq, IF’s CEO, is hoping to attract mainstream British society to the event.
"We want the mainstream. [Gaza] is not just a Muslim issue; it’s a humanitarian issue."
Khaliq believes that the attempt to break a world-record in London may help appeal to the mainstream.
"We did not want to do something ordinary; a world-record is different.
"Because we are trying to bring a world-record to London, every Londoner can have a stake in this."
The event has already caught the attention of a number of celebrities including MP George Galloway, Tre Azzam and Ghazal Asif of the TV show The Apprentice-UK version, comedian Jeff Merza and the group Mecca to Madina.
"It is a fantastic idea and a lot of fun!" says Ghazal Asif, who appeared in season three of The Apprentice.
"This should bring a lot of attention."