Mohammed bin Rashid pays tribute to Sheikh Zayed

Dubai, 27 July 2013 (WAM) – Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has ordered changing the name of the UAE Humanitarian Day to Zayed Humanitarian Day in a tribute to the founding father of the UAE the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Addressing the event held this evening for the first time at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Mohammed paid homage to Sheikh Zayed and recollected his deeds, including humanitarian initiatives.

The evening, which also saw an Iftar banquet, was attended by H. H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority, Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr, Speaker of the Federal National Council, H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Aviation Authority and Chief Executive of Emirates Group, H.H. Sheikh Majed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sheikhs, dignitaries and senior officials.

Below is the text of Sheikh Mohammed’s speech Brothers and sisters, I offer my greetings to on these auspicious days and on this particular day, the 19th day of the holy month of Ramadan which marks the 9th anniversary of the death of the founding father and leading philanthropist the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan which we proclaimed as the Humanitarian Day for the UAE to commemorate Sheikh Zayed’s spirit of giving and to promote the Emirati culture of giving, the foundation of which he had laid.

The UAE Humanitarian Day which we announed during the cabinet meeting on the 41st anniverasy of the national day, is an annual event in which we recall with pride the life of the founding father and we plan ahead a new year of Emirati humanitarian work to promote the UAE as a global capital for humanitarian works.

Brothers and sisters, Sheikh Zayed’s name has become synonymous with generosity and giving, not only in the UAE, but in the whole world. The late Sheikh Zayed never liked talking about what he gave. He was loved and cherished by the people of the world.

I was privileged to work closely with Sheikh Zayed and to learn from him. He loved people and his life was full of giving and generosity. Sheikh Zayed has left us but his deeds talk volume about him. He was like the knight who rushes when he hears a cry for help. His legacy is living in the memory of our country and other countries. One can never forget his stands with the people of Palestine that translated into residential, educational and health projects, his firm position on the leading Arab cause, his support to the victims of the humanitarian plight in Bosnia ‘&’ Herzegovina, the cities he built in Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan and other countries, the hospitals, the schools and the orphanages in tens of Asian and African countries.

He used to be moved when natural disasters strike poor countries and that’s why the UAE has always been among the first countries to reach out in times of trial. This has our earned the country respect of the world. The UAE has become a global humanitarian hub and importantly, the source of admiration, thanks to Sheikh Zayed.

You can build strong government to government relations based on joint interests, but you cannot earn love of the people of the world easily. This requires a historic leader with exceptional qualities.

The greatest legacy the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan left us is the love and appreciation of the world to the UAE and its people. We are proud of Sheikh Zayed anhd when people talk about history, we talk about him. We can see today that President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is following the steps of his father, continuing a great march started by Sheikh Zayed, supported by his brothers and followed by his loyal people in giving.

President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is an extension to Sheikh Zayed in his generosity and willing to give. A man with a great heart and plenty of deeds.

Thanks to Allah the Almighty, the government and people of the UAE have managed to turn humanitarian works into a system that follows best administrative and financial practices to sustain the sense of sharing and to guarantee that humanitarian assistance reach all those who are in need. Importantly, we created the Ministry of Development and International Cooperation to enhance provision of assistance through various levels of international cooperation.

Brothers and sisters, The best way to commemorate the great deeds of the late Sheikh Zayed is to always remember that he built and prepared educated, ambitious and open minded people. I say to the people of the UAE, you are all sons and daughters of Sheikh Zayed. You are the people of generosity and good. We want that good to be an inseparable part of our culture which we pass to our new generations. We want the UAE to continue its lead in stretching a helping hand to the needy and to praise Allah the Almighty for enabling us to do so.

We have issued our directives to mark 19th of Ramadan as a UAE Humanitarian Day because it is the death anniversary of the leader and pioneer of humanitarian work.

To continue the legacy of Sheikh Zayed, we need to follow his steps. We will keep launching humanitarian initiatives and the more we give, the more Allah the Almighty will reward us with stability, security and prosperity.

The evening has started by verses of Holy Quran, followed by a documentary film. The film narrates the humanitarian and charitable work of the late Sheikh Zayed, which spread outside the country and the Arab world in addition to the wise leadership’s follow up for his approach, including the provision of humanitarian and charitable aid by the Emirati charitable and national institutions worldwide in order to curb the natural disasters and displaced people due to wars.

During the evening, organised by the General Secretariat of the Cabinet, the Vice President received a number of appreciation certificates from the United Nations, where he received a thank and appreciation certificate from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, delivered by UN Resident Representative Sayed Agha and from UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos and was delivered by Khalid Khalifa, Director of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Gulf (OCHA).

Sheikh Mohammed also received an appreciation certificate from the Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Ertharin Cousin.

He added that our country is distinguished with developing charitable work and it is a pioneer in that field, referring to the role and initiatives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s initiatives such as: Dubai Cares, the The Dress One Million Needy Children campaign and other initiatives.

He also lauded all the humanitarian and charitable initiatives, launched by the UAE institutions and people, not only at the government and private sectors, but at the community level as well.

He also cited that the number of charitable and humanitarian initiatives of these institutions and department in the country reached over 1500 initiative at the Zayed Humanitarian Work Day.


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