Celebrating a legend: Zayed Humanitarian Day
"Love and loyalty for the generous Zayed"
The Founding Father of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed, had a focus on building a country rooted in humanity. When Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan passed away on the 19th day of Ramadan – 10 years ago today – most Emiratis had a story to tell about him or a connection they had with the nation's founder.
" OUR ANCESTORS LEFT US A LEGACY OF TRADITIONS WE ARE PROUD OF. OUR MISSION IS TO MAINTAIN AND DEVELOP THEM AS ASSETS OF THE NATION FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS" – THE LATE SHEIKH ZAYED
Now, for the Emiratis that were not able to meet the kind leader or experience his original vision, we celebrate today in honour of Sheikh Zayed, maintaining his memories and motivations for the UAE.
At its meeting on 27 November in 2012, the Federal Cabinet decided to mark the 19th day of the Holy Month of Ramadan each year – the anniversary of the death of the UAE founding father and leading philanthropist – the late, great Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as 'Zayed Humanitarian Work Day'. Announcing the decision, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said, "We proclaim this day as Humanitarian Work Day for the U.A.E., to commemorate Sheikh Zayed's spirit of philanthropy and to promote the Emirati culture of giving, the foundations of which were laid by Sheikh Zayed."
"THE ROLE OF WOMEN IS NO LESS THAN THE ROLE OF MEN. TODAY'S FEMALE STUDENTS ARE TOMORROW'S MOTHERS" –THE LATE SHEIKH ZAYED
This year's celebrations mark the 10th anniversary of the death of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan under the slogan "Love and Loyalty for the Generous Zayed" and will see the launch of further humanitarian and charitable initiatives via thousands of governmental and community events organised by public, private and civil institutions.
Around 1,500 charity works were launched last year across the UAE by 270 local and federal departments to mark the 9th Zayed Humanitarian Work Day. The most notable of which was the 'Campaign to Clothe One Million Children around the World'.
"REAL WEALTH IS THE HARD WORK THAT BENEFITS BOTH A PERSON AND THE COMMUNITY. IT IS IMMORTAL AND ETERNAL, AND BECOMES THE VALUE OF THE PERSON AND THE NATION" – THE LATE SHEIKH ZAYED
Speaking about the impact that Sheikh Zayed has had on charity Dubai Cares, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of the organisation said: "Sheikh Zayed's vision for the UAE was underpinned by deep humanity and generosity of spirit. He built a progressive nation that is known around the globe as a nation rooted in its local traditions whilst building its future with a global outlook. This forward-thinking attitude has also made us a formidable voice in the global conversation surrounding education and a strong advocate of its potential to lift nations out of poverty. Dubai Cares reflects this commitment by empowering children – regardless of their nationality, creed or religion – with quality primary education. Through our work in developing countries around the globe, we are creating a legacy of impactful developmental work that Sheikh Zayed inspired and nurtured."
"ARAB OIL CAN NEVER BE DEARER THAN ARAB BLOOD" – THE LATE SHEIKH ZAYED
On 27 July in 2013, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan praised the launch of Zayed Humanitarian Day in its first session, announcing his support for it, and calling on everyone – individuals, government and private institutions – to support, sponsor and participate in it to uphold the values of goodness, nobility and giving – the seed of which was planted by the late Sheikh Zayed and his brothers the Founding Fathers.
President his Highness Sheikh Khalifa said, "On this good day of the Holy Month, we are remembering all of them with love and loyalty, and pray for them as much as they gave to their country and nation and humanity as a whole, our fathers who are the generation of giving and we are proud of them."
"BEING GOOD CITIZENS IS MORE DIFFICULT THAN BUILDING FACTORIES. SOPHISTICATED NATIONS ARE JUDGED BY THE LEVEL OF THEIR POPULATION'S EDUCATION" – THE LATE SHEIKH ZAYED