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Monica Yunus Honoured for Humanitarian Achievements

The talented New York Metropolitan Opera soprano Monica Yunus is to be honoured with a Doha 21st Century Leader Award, to be presented during a special gala dinner at the Grand Hyatt Doha in Qatar on 30 October.

The daughter of Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, Monica is one of the founders and co-director of the non-profit organisation Sing for Hope. The organisation mobilizes more than 600 professional artists – from classical musicians to photographers to Broadway performers – in volunteer service programs that benefit communities in need.

Inspired by the work of her father, and the plight of people suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Monica began by organising fundraising concerts with her colleagues from The Metropolitan Opera. Today, all of the programs run by Sing for Hope incorporate three core elements: a gift of time and talent from professional artists, specialised innovative artistic programming, and the final element of social change. “As well as community building and raising awareness of humanitarian causes, Sing for Hope events encourage vibrant new audiences for the performing arts, and through our educational component, introduce young people to the idea of art as a means to better our world” says Monica.

She went on to say “I am absolutely thrilled to be presented with one of the inaugural Doha 21st Century Leaders Awards and so happy to be able to attend the event in person to receive it. Recognition of my work with Sing for Hope is very important to me, and I look forward to continuing to lift our voices for further social change.”

The Doha 21st Century Leaders Awards ceremony and gala dinner will be held on 30 October to mark the humanitarian and environmental achievements of individuals who have made a serious commitment and significant impact to their chosen cause.

Famous personalities, unsung Qatari heroes and social innovators from the region who have made substantial efforts in either pioneering change within their own communities or by reaching out through humanitarian efforts and environmental projects worldwide will be rewarded and recognised on this special evening.

American actor and film producer Josh Hartnett, who came to fame after his first film role Halloween H20: 20 Years Later and in the 2001 film Black Hawk Down, will be honoured alongside esteemed British actor Sir Ben Kingsley who won an academy award for his portrayal of Mohandas Gandhi in the 1982 film Gandhi. The multi-award winning director and producer team of Danny Boyle and Christian Colson, who made last year’s smash hit Slumdog Millionaire, will also be recognised.

The recipients will receive an award entitled “Draw Your Own Time” that has been specially designed by respected artist and sculptor Lorenzo Quinn, who has a long history of being commissioned for public works in Qatar including the “Give & Take” statue marking the entrance of the Aspire Sports Academy in Doha.


For more information please contact :

Patsy Bateman (English) on or +974 3233935

Farah Faisal Aburamadan
(Arabic) on or +974 582 4582

21st Century Leaders Foundation
Founded by Charlotte di Vita in 2003, when Nelson Mandela appointed her as a Goodwill Ambassador to his Children’s Fund, the 21st Century Leaders Foundation aims to leverage the influence of leaders in their field and popular culture to cause positive change. 21st Century Leaders Foundation’s mission is to assist and encourage a generation of influencers – royalty, Nobel peace prize laureates, and well-known figures in the fields of film, music, fashion, art and literature - to raise awareness and funds for international development causes, thereby leading the way in promoting positive environmental and sustainable human development solutions.

Friends of the Environment Center (FEC)
Friends of the Environment Center (FEC) was established in 1992 in Doha as a non-profit non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to environmental protection and conservation. FEC aims to play an effective role in collaboration with governmental and non-governmental organizations concerned with the environment in the State of Qatar., to maximise environmental safety, health and natural beauty and to reach the best possible level of sustainable development for the enjoyment and well-being of man. The center depends on voluntary work to carry out its activities. It is a member of the Arab Federation for Youth and Environment and has been designated as the Regional Coordination Office for the GCC countries. It is a founder member of the Gulf’s NGOs Environmental Network and maintains active cooperation with several regional and international organisations, in particular UNEP, UNESCO and ROPME.

Qatar Charity
Qatar Charity
(QC) is a non-government organisation which was established in 1992 in order to support the Qatari society and other needy communities abroad. Its mission is to support the abilities of the most needy groups to fulfil human dignity and social justice in cooperation with partners. Its vision is to be an example, a pioneering, distinguished Islamic institution which combines originality, creativity and professionalism in the field of humanitarian aid and development. QC is one of the largest charities in the Gulf, its activities covering more than 40 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, through its registered field offices in various countries or local civil societies as implementing partners. QC is registered in Qatar and governed by law No (2) of 1974, which is amended by decree-law No (17) 1989, and law No (8) of 1998, which regulates work of private societies and foundations. QC has been in consultative status with UN ECOSOC since 1997.

Whatever It Takes
Whatever It Takes is a unique artwork campaign launched by 21st Century Leaders Foundation. Over 600 leaders in the worlds of fashion, film, television, art, music and sport, have donated their artworks and have signed messages of hope for the future. This artwork is used to design and create a variety of lifestyle products which are then sold to raise funds through 4000 retail partners which includes Harrods, Selfridges, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Lane Crawford and David Jones amongst others. Whatever It Takes works closely with their leaders to assist and encourage a generation of influencers to take ownership, engage in positive action, raise awareness among their communities, and champion the solutions to poverty and environmental degradation. Whatever It Takes raises funds for key global development causes, including poverty alleviation, the protection of children, and environmental conservation.

Grand Hyatt Doha
Blending traditional and modern architecture, Grand Hyatt Doha is a business hotel in the new district of West Bay Lagoon. A mix used complex of 249 guestrooms and 91 residences including 39 suites and 43 executive club rooms. It boasts of four restaurants that are individually designed with show kitchens featuring international cuisines, a lobby lounge and a bar with walk-in cigar room. The hotel has extensive conferences facilities in 11 meeting rooms and a 1,500 sq m ballroom. The hotel has extensive leisure facilities including a Hyatt Pure day spa, private beach, three outdoor swimming pools and health club with indoor lap pool.

For more information about the hotel and to make a reservation, call +974 448 1234 or visit