|© UNICEF Lebanon/2009|
|New Regional Goodwill Ambassador for the Middle East and Africa, Nancy Ajram with UNICEF Regional Director Sigrid Kaag at a signing ceremony in Beirut.|
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 23 October 2009 – UNICEF’s Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) announced today the appointment of Lebanese star Nancy Ajram as the newest Regional Goodwill Ambassador.
“We are delighted to welcome Nancy Ajram to UNICEF,” said UNICEF MENA Regional Director Sigrid Kaag. “Nancy’s popularity across the region and her commitment to children will undoubtedly put the spotlight on the issues affecting children and make their voices heard.”
Long associations with UNICEF
Ms. Ajram has been singing from an early age and her fame and appeal now span the MENA region and beyond. Her first public performance as a singer at the age of eight was in a UNICEF-sponsored TV show.
“It is an honor for me to be given this opportunity to contribute to this work for children,” she said. “As a young mother with a small child myself, I relate even more to children and to mothers of the region. This is a dream come true and even more important to me than my artistic achievements.”
|© UNICEF Lebanon/2009|
|Left to Right: UNICEF MENA Regional Director Sigrid Kaag, Lebanese star and Regional Goodwill Ambassador Nancy Ajram and UNICEF MENA Regional Communication Advisor Abdel-Rahman Ghandour.|
Ms. Ajram’s commitment and her popularity will help raise the profile of children’s issues – particularly in relation to the issues of early childhood development, breastfeeding, nutrition, healthy lifestyles, physical and psychosocial violence against children, as well as young people’s participation in issues affecting them.
“It’s the first time I really feel that I am doing something for others rather than just for myself,” she said. “I am totally committed to this new, challenging and exciting mission.”
Joining a stellar advocate in MENA
Nancy Ajram is currently the second UNICEF Regional Ambassador for the Middle East and North Africa. Egyptian Actor Mahmoud Kabil has been holding this title since January 2004.
Mr. Kabil welcomed Ms. Ajram to the UNICEF MENA family in a video appearance from Al-Mazrak Camp in northern Yemen.
Along with other famous artists and musicians from the region, both Ms. Ajram and Mr. Kabil have participated in the recording of a UNICEF public service announcement to mark the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
UNICEF will announce Ms. Ajram’s Goodwill Ambassador programme for 2010 in the coming weeks.