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Battle of Bands

A wonderfully musical event called Battle of Bands was organized by Operation Smile’s UAE Students Network (Disha Kouli, Khulood and Juana) at the Abu Dhabi Ice rink garden recently to help raise money in support of the charity. Operation Smile funds surgeries to correct facial deformities like cleft lips and palates among children.

The Battle of the Bands was conceived by members of the charity’s student volunteers who put on a successful music competition pitting some of the country’s best student bands in a creative pursuit while shedding a spotlight on the power of community involvement to support the public.

The competition was intense as the bands battled it out.  The winning band was “SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT”, a large multi-cultural musical band.  Below is a gallery of photographs from the event.

“Special Thanks to Operation Smile for creating a student network where kids from different school are able to meet, discuss and put their creative minds into actions. I didn’t know Juana Wais and Khulood Fahim before, if it weren’t for the student network organized by Kyla; I wouldn’t have got this wonderful opportunity to work with my co-organizers” – Disha Kouli, Principal organizer Battle of Bands.

“We conducted this event because we wanted the youths of Abu Dhabi to be aware about what and who Operation Smile is anmd because we really wanted to help the children who were born with cleft lips and palates. The show went on very well despite a few technical issues on microphones and speakers – we managed to raise up to Dh 8,137 which means nine free surgeries for these children. This gives us an immense sense of satisfaction and happiness because we are able to give these children the smile they truly deserve” – Khulood Fahim and Juana Wais, co-organizers Battle of Bands.

WINNING BAND: “Same Same but different”

THE Winner of the Battle of Bands was “SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT,” a soul funk multi-instrumental band with an “ever-changing membership” made up of students. The band started out as a couple of music teachers who translated English songs to French who then began providing covers for them. “Same Same But Different” is open to new members at all times.  The current band comprises:

Thierry Bourgeois, Jena Houari, Patrick Singeot, Stephanie Blondeau, Victor Dubau, Margot Paoli, Sylvian Paoli

Mr.Christophe, Benedicte Artola, Mila Dominguez, David Zilocchi, Mathias Singeot, Zooe Van Tickle

Chiara Zilocchi, Lauryne Baboulin

Julien Guerif, Anais Bazar, Laurant Fossard, Jonathan Geleijns, Jean Yves Carino, Solange Carinino

Benedicte Artola, Jonathan Geleijns


“Borderless” is a unique band who enjoys pop music and promotes the idea of eliminating world borders through music. All the members belong to different ‘houses’ at their school and there was always fierce competition between them, and so they decided to eliminated all the borders between them in a way.

Bass: Joel

Vocals: Joshuan and Ruhith

Lead guitar: Ian

Acoustic guitar: Velario

Piano/keyboard: Allen

Drums/ bongo: Fazal


“Deeds” are a group of high schoolers who enjoy making and performing rock music. The band was formed three and 1/2 years ago and the members’ tastes in music vary, but they still manage to write their own original songs. They said the vocalist Phillip writes all the songs. They even called him the “mastermind”.

Bass: Andrew

Guitar/ Vocals/ Songwriting: Phillip

Drums: Sean

Guitar: Dedrick

By Ajir Shujahi


UAE marathon man runs for a brighter future for children


Adnic Yas Run proceeds to go to Operation Smile

Read Arabic Version >>

Abu Dhabi, Tuesday 31 July, 2012: Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC), the most reliable insurance provider in the UAE along with Yas Marina Circuit, announced today that “Operation Smile UAE” will be the official charity for the ADNIC Yas Run 2012, which will be held at the Yas Marina Circuit on 24 November.

The MoU signing was attended by Abdulla Al Nuaimi, Chief Corporate Marketing and Communications Officer at ADNIC, Malek Rawas Al Rashedi, Senior Director of Support Services at Yas Marina Circuit and Morag Cromey-Hawke, Executive Director of Operation Smile UAE.

The organisers announced that 10% of the total registration fees from the internationally certified 10km running event will be donated to Operation Smile in the United Arab Emirates. In addition, participants will be encouraged to collect personal sponsorship from friends, family and colleagues.

Operation Smile UAE was established in January 2011 in Abu Dhabi and is part of an international children’s charity organization that offers free corrective surgeries to children who suffer from cleft lip and palate; orofacial congenital birth defects that affect the upper lip and the roof of the mouth.

Abdulla Al Nuaimi, Chief Corporate Marketing and Communications Officer at ADNIC, said: “We are pleased to announce Operation Smile UAE as the official beneficiary for this year’s ADNIC Yas Run and we are delighted to lend our support to this worthy cause. We would like to encourage the UAE community to join us and take part in this year’s ADNIC Yas Run not only to improve their own well-being but to benefit children in need.”

Malek Rawas Alrashedi, Senior Director of Support Services at Yas Marina Circuit, said: “Yas Marina Circuit is enjoyed year-round by thousands of UAE families. As an organisation that enjoys the on-going support of the UAE community, we also recognise the importance of giving back. The selection of Operation Smile UAE as the official charity of the ADNIC Yas Run, further solidifies our commitment to the community and we hope to see even larger numbers participate in this year’s race to support this worthy cause.”

Morag Cromey-Hawke, Executive Director of Operation Smile UAE, said: “With the help of medical volunteers and funding from the region, Operation Smile UAE has so far been involved in a number of overseas missions. Moreover, with the support of the ADNIC Yas Run organisers and participants, we will be able to help many more children. We are thrilled to have been chosen as the official charity for 2012.”

Operation smile UAE has been involved in several of overseas missions in Jordan, Morocco, Philippines, India and China to change the lives of over 550 children. The charity’s most recent mission in Jordan saw 70 children receive potentially lifesaving surgeries from medical volunteers who travelled from around the world to work with Operation Smile.

Participants will have the option of registering for the 10km run either as individuals or as teams of four members, 3km run for children aged between 12 and 15 and 1km run for children aged between 8 and 11.

Registration is now open for the ADNIC Yas Run 2012. Participants can visit to register, find out more about the event and download a sponsorship form.

During the signing of the MoU – from left to right: Abdulla Al Nuaimi, Chief Corporate Marketing and Communications Officer at ADNIC, Morag Cromey-Hawke, Executive Director of Operation Smile UAE and Malek Rawas Al Rashedi, Senior Director of Support Services at Yas Marina Circuit.

About Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company

Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC) PSC is a leading multi-line insurance provider with five branches and a network of sales and services centers across the United Arab Emirates. Founded in Abu Dhabi in 1972, it offers a wide range of general insurance and life insurance products and services for individuals, small, mid-sized and large companies and multi-national corporations in the United Arab Emirates, as well as being a leading provider of risk underwriting solutions across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. ADNIC is established in the United Arab Emirates under the motto “Your Reliable Insurer”.

Listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, ADNIC was nominated “Middle East Insurance Company of the Year” in 2009, 2010 and 2011 by World Finance Magazine, as well as the Insurance Company of the Year at the Middle East Insurance Forum (MEIF 2011) 2011 MEIF. The Company is also (A-) rated by Standard & Poor’s with a Positive outlook, as well as A (Excellent) by A.M. Best with a Stable outlook.

About Yas Marina Circuit

Yas Marina Circuit is probably one of the world's most iconic sporting venues. Located on Yas Island, the circuit debuted on October 30, 2009 with the final race of the FIA Formula One World Championship - the inaugural Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to a capacity crowd of around 50,000. Year round, Yas Marina Circuit hosts an extensive programme of leading international and national motorsport racing series as well as major entertainment events and corporate activities. Supplementary facilities include the Yas Drag Racing Centre, the Yas Racing School and the YasKartzone.

Press Contacts

Jenny Symons or Emma Kettle – Professional Sports Group
D: +971 2 441 8122 /


Operation Smile UAE honoured for charity work and services to the community

HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Abdulla Bin Zayed Al Nahyan accepts the award on behalf of Operation Smile UAE from H.E. Hamad Buamim, Director General, Dubai Chamber.

At an award ceremony in Dubai, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCII), Emirates Green Building Council and Istidama have honoured the Patron of OSUAE, H.H. Sheikha Lyazia Bint Saif Al Nahyan and her 9 year old daughter H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for the work of Operation Smile UAE which has improved the lives of hundreds of children born with cleft lip and cleft palate.

The award ceremony was part of the International Green Awards Sustainability Summit, hosted at Dubai Chamber as part of World Environmental Day celebrations. The organisers wanted to showcase an organisation that has worked with the single minded purpose of promoting an important cause but has embedded sustainability values within its functioning. Operation Smile UAE won the ‘sustainable NGO’ category.

The award was collected on behalf of Operation Smile UAE by Sheikha Fatima, who said the charity’s achievements were only possible through the support of the UAE people.

In a speech, Sheikha Fatima said: “Since January 2011, we have funded five missions in four different countries providing over 500 free, safe corrective surgeries for children born with cleft lip and cleft palate. These children can now eat, drink, speak, attend school, be educated and feel valued. We could not have done this without the help of so many people and organisations.

She added: “In the past eighteen months we have provided cleft care centres in Morocco, South Africa and Cambodia with dental chairs no longer used in Abu Dhabi but urgently needed in these countries. We have two more waiting to be fitted into a bus for the Emirates.”

Her Highness used the award ceremony to launch Operation Smile UAE’s latest campaign, called ‘Recycle to Smile’, which will collect used mobile phones, laptops, mp3 players and digital cameras – working or damaged – to raise money to help change more children’s lives.

“By encouraging a community spirit where everyone can help to change children’s lives we build sustainability. We at Operation Smile believe that every child deserves a smile,” Sheikha Fatima said.

The global awards were launched in 2006 to recognise strategies that use creativity in an engaging and effective manner, leading to more sustainable outcomes. The event was one of a number of city summits held around the world to recognise local organisations for their sustainability excellence and prepare them to enter the awards’ programme taking place later this year.


Volunteer drop in meeting

On 5th June in Café de la Paix (Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi) Kyla held the first OSUAE volunteer drop in meeting for student and community volunteers. The purpose of the evening was to give volunteers, both experienced and new, a chance to get together, meet and have an informal chat about Operation Smile and to ask any questions they had. Thank you to all the wonderful people who attended. You’re a great asset to OSUAE and we look forward to working together with you to improve the lives of children with clefts.

Visitors who bought coffees at the meeting also contributed to Café de la Paix’s ‘Changing lives one sip at a time’ campaign. Café de la Paix has generously pledged to donate 50 fils to Operation Smile UAE for every coffee purchased. A great big thank you to Nafisa and Café de la Paix for letting us use your wonderful venue and for your continued support!

If you missed the meeting and would like to know more about volunteer opportunities please contact our volunteer coordinator, Kyla:


Crown Plaza Abu Dhabi pledge support for OSUAE

On the evening of 27th May, Crown Plaza Abu Dhabi launched their Operation Smile Campaign. Guests and patrons enjoyed a surprise Flash Mob before hearing about the hotel's fund raising initiative.


Presentation to Khalifa University

On 22nd May Operation Smile UAE gave a series of presentations at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi. Morag, Kyla and our two Zayed University interns, Hana and Wafa, spoke about Operation smile in general, volunteering and internships respectively. Thank you to the students of Khalifa University who received us with tremendous warmth and enthusiasm.


Presentation to Al Hidaya Kindergarten

On 21st May, Operation Smile’s two Zayed University interns, Hana and Wafa, gave an excellent presentation to Al Hidaya Kindergarten in Abu Dhabi. They received a tremendous response from the children who were fascinated to learn about children their age having to cope with the challenges of being born with a cleft.


Swim for Smiles

On 20th May, First Abu Dhabi Cubs at the British School Al Khubeirat (BSAK) in Abu Dhabi did a sponsored swim. They raised 8150 Dhs for Operation Smile. Thank you First Abu Dhabi Cubs! Thanks to your great efforts at least 9 children will receive life changing surgeries and have their smiles restored!


UAE University

UAE University ran a smile campaign on campus involving local schools. In total they raised 20,000 Dhs for Operation Smile. Thank you UAE University!


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