ECN Interviews Dr. Akram Safadi, CEO of NetOne International About NetOne Program Donations to ECN

Tag Archives: ramadan

Egypt Cancer Network recently caught up with Dr. Akram Safadi, the CEO of NetOne International. NetOne International, a telecom company that provides international calling services to the US, Canada and Australia, began hosting a campaign for ECN and 57357 during Ramadan 2012.

NetOne belongs to a multi-business group that started in Orlando 25 years ago as a company pioneering the notion of “contributing without donating”, through which they used telemarketing agreements with AT&T as a means of giving funds back to the community in parts of their monthly billing. The main idea behind this initiative, at its conception, was to provide aid to schools that were dependent on donations so that they could utilize the purchase power of their communities to fund the schools without donating. Under this principle, NetOne became the premier agent of AT&T when it came to selling to ethnic markets. This effort generated more than $100 million in sales annually, simultaneously contributing millions of dollars to schools and charities throughout the United States.

As a telecom company, NetOne came into formal existence in 1998 as a spinoff of the original NetOne framework, created with the explicit goal of providing international calling services to ethnic communities in the US and Canada. They based their customer service centers in Egypt and have been located there for nearly a decade. As a result, Dr. Safadi has made many trips to Egypt for business. On one of his more recent trips, he and Baher Tabana, the president of NetOne Egypt, had the opportunity to visit CCHE, which they had heard so much about through TV ads and social media. Mr. Tabana’s mother, who is involved in the charity work in Egypt, facilitated a visit with Dr. Hanaa and Dr. Abouelnaga and they were given a tour which profoundly inspired and impressed them. Dr. Safadi said, “it was not only the medical aspect of it, which is outstanding, but also the humanitarian aspect… [CCHE] is a great humanitarian institute with outstanding medical care… [for] people from all walks of life… we were wow-ed!”

Not only did Dr. Safadi visit the renowned CCHE campus, but his calling center team also paid a visit to the premises in early November 2012.

His visit inspired him to seek out opportunities to help the “great institute“ of CCHE in any way that he could, as a company and a business. This generated the proposal of an idea: as NetOne has call centers in Egypt, they therefore have a great reach to the Arab-American community as it is such a major sector of their customer base. NetOne speaks to nearly 2,000 Arabs in the United States every day from their call centers in Egypt, from which they offer them services and provide customer service to them.

The idea that Dr. Safadi proposed was a joint effort in NetOne supporting CCHE through campaigns in which they offer the customer the same service that they are currently obtaining, and, at no cost to the customer, donating 0.5% of the purchase price to CCHE. CCHE and ECN are in the process of promoting and raising awareness of these campaigns, creating a win-win scenario through which NetOne, CCHE and ECN are all promoted.

The campaign was signed into effect just before Ramadan of this year and is ongoing, allowing NetOne and their customers to contribute to CCHE at all times. This type of campaign allows NetOne to offer something extra to the customer, distinguishing them from competition. In arranging for this campaign, NetOne International has committed to a level of contribution over the next three years that will reach at least $85,000, and will consequently pursue a naming opportunity with CCHE once this amount is obtained. In October, the campaigns generated $8,438 to 57357, and at this pace the $85,000 commitment will be met in one year instead of the three years span.

The toll free numbers that they are providing those interested in donating are: 1-855-GO-57357 for NetOne+57357 Campaign and 1-855-TO-57357 for Omniat+57357 Campaign. When customers call any one of these numbers, they go directly to the main call centers in Egypt and generate a donation to ECN, which is put towards CCHE. Please ensure that you call the aforementioned numbers if you are interested in donating to ECN.


ECN recently had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Robert Watson, one of the three co-founders of the charitable organization Songs4Children.The organization, based in Palo Alto, CA, held a unique fundraiser for ECN during this past Ramadan entitled “Hope Sings”. Songs4Children has since made ECN its’ primary fundraising cause.

Songs4Children was begun in the name of using music to raise money for and spread awareness of initiatives which would service children. It was through Songs4Children co-founder Mariam Helmy, who is of Egyptian descent, that ECN was first nominated as a potential cause. Ms. Helmy, in conjunction with co-founder Ms. Sophie Cristal and Mr. Watson, hosted their first opera recital in the early summer of 2012. Since then, they have had two performances, and are working towards hosting their first full opera performance, due to take place in November of this year.

ECN is thrilled to be chosen as Songs4Children’s cause and will be partnering with Songs4Children to continue to spread the word about ECN’s initiatives, all of which are designated towards helping children with cancer in Egypt and the region. Please continue to check our events and our Facebook page ( for more information about the upcoming show in November and in order to purchase tickets. For more information about Songs4Children, please visit their website at



As Ramadan draws to a close, ECN wanted to highlight the numerous accomplishments that we have accumulated over the past year. These include our sponsorship of an emergency supply of leukemia medication, the architectural design and expansion of CCHE 57357, feasibility studies for new endeavors, Egyptian medical researchers in seeking higher education opportunities to build CCHE’s staff capacity and the approval of our international fellowship program, among other successes.

ECN has dedicated itself to contributing $10 million to the highly-anticipated expansion of Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt 57357 (CCHE), which will ultimately cost upwards of $80 million. Other projects that are in receipt of our support are the construction of new outpatient clinics, a hospice care edifice and guest houses at the Egyptian National Cancer Institute (NCI). In the spirit of the new era that Egypt is now in, and in recognition of the need for all Egyptians to have opportunities and accessibility to services and high-quality care, this goal is certainly attainable. Thus far, during the first three weeks of Ramadan, we have raised over $1.6 million in donations. With $170,000 in donations, ECN could support the extended education and training of 8-10 Egyptian researchers at prestigious institutions in the United States and elsewhere. Naming opportunities can allow you to have various equipment, rooms and buildings at CCHE and NCI be named after you or a loved one. Naming opportunities range in price from $2,000 for an electrical room to $300,000 to sponsor the building entrance. For more information on naming opportunities and to view the list of naming opportunities, please click here.

In just one year we have accomplished so much, but there is always more work to be done in the realm of cancer treatment. Please consider donating to our organization so that we can continue to support endeavors that change the lives of cancer patients in Egypt and beyond. To learn more about the impact of your gifts thus far, please visit our accomplishments page, which we update on a regular basis to keep our donors informed of the progress of our major projects. To learn more about the impact of your future gifts, please visit our projects page.




You have the opportunity to donate your zakat to ECN during this holy month of Ramadan 2012, both through our general online donation system and also through our Ramadan team fundraising campaign. Dr. Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, was asked by a citizen about the permissibility of purchasing medical equipment for hospitals from zakat funds. He replied that originally there are eight categories of people that are eligible for zakat mentioned in the Quran in Surat at- Tawba, 9:60. For more information, please click here.

The establishment of these hospitals and purchasing medical equipment can benefit all Muslims as well as others. Therefore, as long as the hospital needs this equipment and does not have the funds, then there is no objection religiously to use zakat money to purchase the equipment. This means that you are consequently permitted to put your zakat towards the ECN cause of your choice. Numerous prominent sheikhs have recommended that this years zakat be given to ECN in order to support CCHE 57357 and its expansion project. Please view the following video to hear their testimony. Please also take the time to view this additional video about donating your zakat to ECN.

ECN is in the “Ramadan Ramp-up” stage, preparing to host our biggest Ramadan campaign yet. There are two components to this campaign that we would like you to know about.

The first is featured on our website as our “Ramadan 2012” campaign at the following site: . If you are interested in helping ECN fundraise for its initiatives in the realm of pediatric oncology in Egypt, you can use the aforementioned fundraising platform to fundraise either as a team – made up of friends, coworkers, or family members – or as an individual.

Your progress will be monitored on the site after you register your or your team’s information. The purpose of the online platform is to encourage people to donate directly to your initiative. An individual or team can set a fundraising goal and time period within which to have it met. We would like to encourage all of you that are committed to ECN to register as an individual or a team and ask people to donate their Ramadan zakat to your cause via the fundraising platform. One of our goals this Ramadan is to fundraise at least $500,000 for our projects with Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt 57357 and others, and we expect our online fundraising platform to significantly contribute to this. Please spread the word to your friends and family about it, and visit the website above to register and get started! For more information, please email .

The other component to our campaign involves our network of national chapters. We will be hosting fundraising events in celebration of Ramadan all throughout the United States, including in Los Angeles, CA, Dallas, TX, Dearborn, MI, Washington, DC, and New York City, NY. Please stay tuned to our Facebook group at to keep informed about upcoming events in your area.

Please help us in our efforts by donating your zakat to ECN and sharing our cause with us. ECN thanks you for your help and enthusiasm!

Please click on your city below to print your very own ECN Imsakayat Calendar as a reminder of your prayer times for Ramadan 2012, as well as the impact of your heart felt prayers on the lives of children with cancer. To order hard copies in standard post card size for distribution at your local mosque, please email

Why your prayers matter: click here.



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To order hard copies in standard post card size for distribution at your local mosque, please email