Now, you can get all the USA Cricket updates via Facebook. Also follow us on Twitter via @dreamcricket
By Peter Della Penna
Pakistan's 2011 World Cup captain Shahid Afridi will embark on a
three-day, three-city fundraising tour this week for Islamic Relief USA.
The first “Building for the Future” dinner will take place tonight May
18 in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, Wash., before Afridi moves on to
Anaheim, Calif., on Thursday May 19. The final dinner will be held on
Friday May 20 in the Dallas suburb of Richardson, Texas.
“We wanted to target specifically our Pakistani community and in
order to do that there’s various ways,” said Daud Mohmand, Special
Events Manager at Islamic Relief USA. “You’ve gotta bring some sort of
celebrity and what better celebrity to bring from Pakistan besides the
cricket players.” According to Mohmand, this will be the fifth year that
a tour of Building for the Future dinners has been organized across the
USA involving Pakistani cricketers.
In February 2008, Afridi made a six-city tour – San Jose, Los
Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Dallas and Secaucus, New Jersey – of
“Building for the Future” dinners in the USA which helped raise $1.2
million dollars in aid for relief projects. Much of the money went to
help people affected by floods in the Balochistan province of Pakistan.
“When we get into the fundraising aspect, the way we do it at Islamic
Relief, we show people the projects that we’re doing and then we ask
people to contribute to those projects,” said Mohmand. “People raise
their hands, they write a check or fill out a credit card form for us
and from that, or they provide pledges, that’s where most of our money
is gained. The other item that we do in the end, because we have one of
the largest one-to-one sponsorship services, as a donor you can sponsor
an orphan. We also do that and then the last item, the fun portion if
you will of our event, we have usually that particular athlete’s jersey,
a bat or a ball, caps as well for him to sign and we also auction those
Mohmand says that on average, 500 people typically attend the dinners
but when Afridi came in 2008, the turnout swelled to between 700 and
800 in Los Angeles and Dallas. Tickets are $35 for the dinner in
Bellevue, $40 for the dinner in Texas and $40 if purchased beforehand in
Anaheim or else $45 at the door. Also featured to appear with Afridi on
the event listing is Pakistani poet Alamgir.
that Afridi has been helpful not just in raising funds in the USA, but
also in visiting the areas receiving the aid in Pakistan in order to
help projects on site.
Image (right): Shahid Afridi celebrates a wicket against Kenya at the 2011 World Cup. [©AFP - Lakruwan Wanniarachchi]
“He had also helped and assisted us in Pakistan as well,” said
Mohmand. “He has visited our field projects. He went to our beneficiary
in Pakistan and seen the projects and has even had press conferences
about what we do and who we are and kind of given his support to Islamic
Relief in the States as well as overseas.”
“What we do is not just the emergency relief, but it’s also for the
development work we do. Just because an emergency or a flood or another
natural disaster has passed, that doesn’t mean the people still don’t
need any help. So we have various projects, ongoing projects, making
sure there is redevelopment of those areas. If the schools have been
washed away or people are living in tents or they’re displaced, we
assist with that as well as providing the basic necessities, meals and
Afridi and Younis Khan were also involved in a series of “Building
for the Future” dinners across the UK in 2009. The two cricketers
embarked on a five-city fundraising tour in August that year that took
them to Birmingham, London, Manchester, Cardiff and Leicester.
Aside from projects in Pakistan, Islamic Relief has also aided in
numerous other projects recently including earthquake relief in Haiti,
humanitarian support in Libya and tornado disaster relief efforts in
Ismlamic Relief is a non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in
the UK in 1984 by Dr. Hany El Banna. Currently, there are fundraising
offices for Islamic Relief located in 15 countries. Islamic Relief USA
was started in 1993 and has offices in New Jersey, Illinois, Texas,
California and a headquarters in Alexandria, Va. For more information
about the “Building for the Future” fundraising dinners with Shahid
Afridi and Alamgir, visit www.islamicreliefusa.org/events or call 818-450-7561.