‘Shaikh Zayed left his mark on the world’

His huminitarian legacy inspires both residents and citizens to contribute to help others

Dubai: The founding father of the UAE, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, not only believed in planting trees but also in sowing the seeds of goodness in people that would yield a rich harvest of humanitarian legacy for the future generations.

“This goodness was planted in each and every person living on the UAE land and even though many people did not personally meet him, they have witnessed his values and legacy through the UAE people who have followed his footsteps,” says Sultan Al Shehi, project manager at Emirates Red Crescent.

The country is observing Shaikh Zayed’s 14th death anniversary today, Ramadan 19. When 2018 was declared the Year of Zayed, Al Shehi said the people of the UAE did not have to be reminded of the importance of humanitarian work and the culture of giving — everyone wanted to take part.

“The response of people wanting to contribute with ideas in the Year of Zayed to help others has been overwhelming. Everyone is actively participating and volunteering inside and outside the country,” he said.

The sweep of Shaikh Zayed’s humanitarianism is vast and has touched millions of lives, said Al Shehhi. From launching housing projects for the needy to providing food and medicine for people suffering from poverty regardless of race, gender, language or religion, Zayed’s inclusiveness was all-encompassing.

“He always said the wealth here was not for us or for the UAE only but should be shared with others outside the country.”

During his time, the UAE gave Dh90.5 billion worth of aid in various forms to 117 countries.

Recalling his trip to Ohio a few years ago, Al Shehi said it was just one example of the places around the globe where Shaikh Zayed had left marks of his good deeds

“Shaikh Zayed was being treated in one of the big hospitals there and I came to know of his contributions there. Close to the hospital, he also opened a prayer room in one of the hotels so people could pray. When I visited the area, I was able to witness his unlimited goodness,” he said.

Shaikh Zayed left behind a rich legacy, almost impossible to match, but from which countless useful lessons have been absorbed, he said.

“There are many lessons we learnt from him — his ethics, humbleness and the way he treated and cared for people. We learnt how to love giving and help others even if we don’t know them,” A Shehi said.

Every Emirati, he said, is an ambassador to the UAE in maintaining its reputation as a nation, dignity of the people living here and in treating visitors in the best way possible.

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