A ceremony held today, December 22, at the site of the Islamabad Marrott Hotel saw Marriott International executives presenting a check for US$300,000 to the Hashoo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the hotel’s owning company, the Hashoo Group. This was in aid of the families of employees impacted by the suicide truck bombing and fire last September 20 that killed at least 40 people and wounded another 260.and leaving a 60 ft (20 m) wide, 20 ft (6 m) deep crater outside the hote
Following the attack, Marriott employees worldwide sought ways to help fellow employees and their relatives, setting up the Islamabad Marriott Assistance Fund that raised money through car washes, bake sales, used book sales and individual contributions. The J Willard and Alice S Marriltt Foundation and Marriott International also donated to the campaign. Approximately 70 families will be helped with education, food, medical and social support supervised by the Hashoo Foundation.
Marriott executives Geoff Garside, executive vice-president for Marriott’s Asia-Pacific region and Rajeev Menon, area vice-president for Marriott in India, Pakistan, the Maldives and Malaysia were on hand to present the check on behalf of Marriott and its employees and business partners to the hotel’s owner Saddrudin Hashwani, chairman of the Hashoo Group.
Garside said: “The actions and responsiveness of our employees in the aftermath of this terrible tragedy are a true testament to our ‘spirit to serve’ and family-oriented corporate culture. We are very proud of them for pulling together to aid fellow employees and their families in rebuilding their lives.
The five-storey hotel, which is in the final stages of setting to right the extensive damage from the blast, which left a 20 m wide by 6m deep crater in front of the building, is expected to restart operations on December 28. According to a Marriott spokesperson, 40 to 50 of its 258 rooms and F&B outlets on the ground floor will be available once again.
Another victim of a terrorist attack, Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, which reopened December 21, also set up aid programme, the Taj Public Service Welfare Trust for those who were affected.
Margie T Logarta