Thursday, July 02, 2015

Saudi Prince gives $32 billion to charity

According to the BBC, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is to give away essentially his entire personal fortune of $32 billion to charity. This extraordinary gesture puts to shame the philanthropic contributions of people like Bill & Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet, whose donations amount to a paltry $2 billion so a year.
Ranked 34th in the Forbes List of the World's Richest People, the Prince claims to have been inspired by the Gates Foundation. Although closely related to the ruling Saudi royal family, Prince Alwaleed is considered highly Westernized and quite progressive in his views, particularly on women's rights (most of his staff are women). He sees philanthropy as a personal responsibility and an intrinsic part of his Islamic faith - a rare positive reference for Islam.
The money is to be distributed over a period of several years through his charitable organisation, Alwaleed Philanthropies, and is to "help build bridges to foster cultural understanding, develop communities, empower women, enable youth, provide vital disaster relief and create a more tolerant and accepting world".
Fine words indeed.

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