Joining the ranks of media moguls, tech giants, musicians, actors and politicians, several Qatar residents have been taking up the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
The fundraising effort requires participants to be doused with a bucket of ice water while being filmed. They then nominate three or four other people to do the same thing within 24 hours.
The videos are uploaded to Youtube or Facebook, usually with the hashtag #ALSicebucketchallenge, #icebucketchallenge, or #strikeoutALS.
In one version of the challenge, those who participate are required to donate $10, while those who are challenged but opt out are supposed to donate $100 to help fund research on Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”
There is currently no cure for this fatal illness, which affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
However, in most cases, the challenge is carried out in lieu of a monetary donation, with nominees carrying it out in the name of raising awareness of the condition.
The challenge is not without critics. Many people have for example said it encourages the wastage of clean water, and there are also safety concerns from doing the challenge wrong.
Still, the attention has paid off – the American ALS Association said it has raised some $31.5 million in the past month, compared to $1.9 million raised during the same period a year ago.
It’s not clear who carried out the first Ice Bucket Challenge in Qatar, but many local residents have recently posted videos of themselves participating in the effort. They have also been nominating friends, both in Qatar and abroad, to continue the challenge.
For example, Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon, co-founder of ILoveQatar.net, recently posted a Youtube video of his take on the ALS fundraiser. He in turn challenged several others, including Qatari comedian Hamad Al-Amari:
ILQ is also holding a mass challenge tomorrow (Aug. 22) at 8am at the St. Regis Doha. Participants are asked to bring their own buckets and towels, and to dress modestly. The hotel will provide water and ice.
Another resident who took the challenge a few days ago is Tejas Kumar.
The 21-year-old Indian expat, who this week posted his video on Facebook, said he enjoyed the communal aspect of the challenge – which has been taken up by noted personalities like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, George W. Bush, Steven Spielberg, Lady Gaga and David Beckham.
Speaking to Doha News, Kumar added:
“It’s a pretty great way to get people talking – and that’s what matters. Sure, money to fund research is great, but what gets you money is people, and what gets you people is awareness. Creating a website with a payment gateway and putting the link everywhere doesn’t nearly work as effectively as a viral, people-fueled movement.
That’s exactly what the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is. Moreover, some people simply don’t have money…because they’re genuinely strapped for cash. For such people who are willing but unable, this is a great way to further this noble cause.”
Tiffany Ho, a 28-year-old American expat who was nominated by a friend in Doha, said the challenge motivated her to learn more about ALS:
“I (had) heard (about) the name of the disease before but didn’t really know how it affected patients with (it), even after I started seeing the campaign. It wasn’t until I was challenged myself that I read about it,” she said.
Would you consider dousing yourself in ice water for charity? Thoughts?
It’s great to raise awareness, and funds to support a cause, but the irony of throwing clean, drinkable, ice water away while we are surrounded by desert is a bit much. Could it not have been adapted…
Somebody shoot me.
I’m sure there will be a line up if you’re offering
Hehe nice one
Might as well add me in to the shooting, because I was about to say the same thing as you Indifferent!
It’s not drinking water that’s being used. Please see event info. It’s sea water in the sea. (I doubt anyone would drink tap water in Qatar anyway)
We are letting people know the importance being smart when participating and not wasting.
“I doubt anyone would drink tap water in Qatar anyway”….ahh hello, all those poor souls slaving away in the heat on building sites etc , they certainly drink tap water, they cant afford anything else….Or dont they count as ‘anybody’?
Do you want to re-read what I said and figure out what the main message is too?
However since you like to cut things into segments. Qatar’s water is drinkable but doesn’t taste good (in opinion).
If by poor souls you are referring to labourers, then many work sites and accommodations have water provided.
Either way, you will see my comments that water waste is an issue and that’s why I recommended that people be smart of taking part in the challenge.
As for your question of whether “don’t they count as anybody”. I think everybody is somebody.
Are you suggesting otherwise?
It’s just that we are severely outnumbered by people with incomprehensible negativity here on Doha News (i’m not Qatari by the way), so don’t sweat it. As a side note, I do believe a lot of other things affecting the region need much more media attention and awareness than the ALS ice bucket challenge, but it’s part of belonging to the global community so why not give it a go. I hope you enjoy the event.
I don’t get it, believe me there is a lot to criticize Qatar for, but to even turn a charity event into something to argue about!?!? People seriously need to get lives offline! lol
So shallow. Just admit your Qatari attitude shone through. Your words speak so loudly of it. Real people in your country have no choice but to drink tap water which you proclaimed “I doubt anyone would drink tap water in Qatar anyway”. And from experience with tye labourers the onlywater they get provided is the ‘tap water’.
Sadly, It seems you don’t even know me, but have already judged me.
No point talking to a person who takes things out of context, can turn a fun charitable cause into an argument and hated me for being Qatari.
Good luck with your life
I don’t hate anybody, you seem to have judged me. But the statement you made was insensitive to the plight of thousands if not millions in this country who could ill afford to even go to your event and would not be granted access due to being ‘bachelors’. The statement also shows little insight into this fact and seems to be the norm here, just ignore it and it isn’t happening seems to be the attitude.
Great job, I will be joining you guys to contribute to this!
I normally agree with pretty much everything you say
But Jeez guys give Mr Q a break, he’s just trying to organise an event to benefit a charity. Whether you agree with hows it done or not, surely the only important thing is that the charity will benefit.
As for environmental concerns Im sure they waste a lot more ice in a single Friday brunch
The point is the absolute ignorance of the reality of real people in Qatar having to drink”tap water”. So what he is raising money for this or that, maybe it is self serving promotion, or maybe its real concern, but the comment reeks of a lack of empathy and understanding for what is happening in his back yard.
Can you stop making a fool out of yourself and bringing negativity to a positive cause? Jeez!
Nope and Im not making a fool of myself. What makes this cause more important then the cause of the under payed and abused in Qatar? The comment about tap water and nobody drinking it is a real demonstration of the lack of understanding or wilful blindness of what really happens in Qatar.
Well dude then setup a charity event to raise awareness about that issue, it will help those poor souls way more than attacking Mr. Q’s charity event! lol. No need for all this negativity when someone is trying to do something good in the community.
actually he didnt say no one drinks tap water, he said no would WANT to drink tap water.
i drink tap water
Good for you. So do I! In Australia where it is clean and safe, but not here where it is desalinated and run through sceptical delivery systems.
That’s the first time Australia (home of every messed up insect and animal) and safe have been used in the same sentence
Are you questioning God’s judgement in his choice of creation?
Only teasing you.
no, just complaining about it 😛
I think this is awesome, and anything to raise money for a great cause is commendable. Not only is it raising money for a cause, but let’s face it, this is fun and makes people smile and bond! I sure smiled when I watched that video, well done ALS and all supporting the cause!
A hot bucket of sand perhaps?
I love how those who wish to participate in the challenge are asked to “dress modestly”. I guess female challengers will need to wear a several layers of clothing in the 40C plus weather, because even an abbaya can turn into an immodest figure accentuating garb when the wet material clings to the body.
1- it’s a private beach. If you are not happy with seeing women at a private beach, then I recommend you don’t go
2- there is no waste (except for ice perhaps) since the water is sea water at the beach.
3- everyone who attends is requested donate something to ALS
4- it’s a fun activity. It’s cool to go and spend time at the beach anyway
5- it’s meant to be a memory that helps spread awareness.
At the end of the day people need to be responsible and for those that don’t like it. There are other activities they can be a part of.
We should all definitely spread awareness
I will be coming along with some mates and colleagues. Look forward to seeing you folks there!
I wish I did it last weekend after going to the gym! Especially as I jumped striaght into the pool not knowing that the chiller was broken! Not quite the refreshing dip I was hoping for.
News just in. Qatar to attempt world record number of ice bucket challenges (probably).
I liked the way Charlie Sheen did it. For the rest, it seems more like a social media hype to me where it’s more about showing yourself how cool you are.
ice water in this hot summer….r u serious
How cute.You see someone else wasting water,why not try it,yeah.So”,yaay, look at me wasting some water & being a band wagoner”….”Oh , look at ME doing the ALS Bucket challenge (And i don’t even know it’s cause/purpose) but what the hell,i think it is COOL to do it”…How creative…I wonder if some people are really doing it for the cause or just for some petty publicity /promotion…