Qatar 2022 worker and Cafu team up for Generation Amazing activation
There was a special reunion during a recent Generation Amazing event in Brazil.
Ghanaian Abdul Azeez Sulaiman – who works as a lifting and rigging supervisor at Al Rayyan Stadium – linked up with Brazil football legend Cafu in São Paulo after first meeting him in Qatar earlier this year.
The pair were reunited by Generation Amazing, having first been introduced during one of the programme's football for development sessions at Challenger City. This time, following Cafu's unveiling as a global ambassador for the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), the pair helped deliver a special session to underprivileged youth from São Paulo's Eprocad Foundation. Also in attendance were four Qatari football legends; Mubarak Mustafa, Adel Khamis, Ibrahim Khalfan and Ahmed Khalil, along with Generation Amazing Master Coach Hamad Mohamed.
Sulaiman, 28, is a shining example for Generation Amazing. After attending numerous activities organised by the programme, he trained to become a Generation Amazing coach and ambassador. He's also been a regular participant in the Workers' Cup – which is organised by the SC and Qatar Stars League – playing for his employer, L&T Qatar, the main contractor at Al Rayyan Stadium.
Sulaiman was thrilled to travel to Brazil and continue his Generation Amazing journey.
He said: “With Generation Amazing, we have brought a lot of life skills and values like teamwork and responsibility to youth in Brazil. The most special thing to me was the activation in São Paulo. We really made Generation Amazing proud, and we made all the participants happy. I thank God, the Generation Amazing team and everybody who was there and witnessed the message of inclusion which we are sending to the world. We had a lot of fun with Cafu, the atmosphere was very inspiring.”
For Cafu, the reunion with Sulaiman was a special moment. The FIFA World Cup winner said: “The story of Abdul Azeez is an example of life, a fantastic story. Every time I see him he is always happy, he is doing sensational work and he has to continue on this path. The commitment of Generation Amazing is being rewarded, because it is using the power of football to work with youth around the world. Abdul Azeez should continue on the same path, because through him others will be inspired to do the same.”
H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the SC, also attended the four-hour session in Sao Paulo, which was held at this historic Pacaembu Stadium.
Al Thawadi praised the impact of Generation Amazing, which has now reached more than 500,000 beneficiaries around the world, and said Sulaiman's journey was inspirational.
“Seeing Abdul Azeez interact with the local children and seeing him grow through Generation Amazing – this is exactly what the programme is about. Abdul Azeez has been on an inspirational journey – a worker on one of our stadiums who participated in one of our legacy programmes and rose to become a coach and ambassador.”
He continued: “Generation Amazing is about every individual utilising the power of football – not only to create a better life for themselves but also inspiring others to do so. This is the legacy we want to create.”
For participant Artur Soares, 18, the session was filled with positive messages.
“It was a magnificent day for us, a great opportunity in this historic venue, with people who embraced our group to give us an unforgettable experience. It was a great surprise to be face to face with our World Cup winning captain, Cafu. I am very thankful for this experience today. It instilled in me values of life, to continue even if you fall, you have to get up and continue trying your best in life. The session was very dynamic, and Abdul Azeez was a great inspiration to me. You don't need to be a famous player in order to do something special through football.”
At the end of a day filled with learning and positive feedback, Abdul Azeez handed Cafu a special gift of a traditional shirt from Ghana, while the former Brazil captain signed his country's famous yellow shirt for the Generation Amazing coach to take on his journey back to Qatar.