Abu Dhabi

The UAE Red Crescent carried Shaikh Zayed’s message of giving without limits, of sharing wealth across the globe, where the great leader’s name is inscribed in hospitals, schools, universities, houses for the poor, and many other humanitarian aid projects across the world, a senior official said yesterday.

“The UAE has become a role model for humanity,” Dr Mohammad Ateeq Al Falahi, Secretary-General of the UAE Red Crescent Authority, told the majlis of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Shaikh Mohammad and His Highness Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, attended a lecture titled ‘UAE Soft Power’.

In the lecture held at Al Bateen Palace in Abu Dhabi, Dr. Al Falahi showcased the UAE’s humanitarian efforts across the globe, noting that the force behind this spirit of giving was the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the United Arab Emirates and its first President.

The legacy of the Founding Father of the UAE will be fondly remembered on Wednesday, the 13th anniversary of his death.

The 19th day of Ramadan is designated as Zayed Humanitarian Day across the country.

Dr. Al Falahi presented the work of the UAE Red Crescent in a short documentary, which included footage of its work in areas including, Yemen, Palestine, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Greece, India, Somalia, the Philippines and other countries.

The documentary also featured a speech by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed, who told the workers of UAE Red Crescent: “You are the ambassadors of the UAE.”

Shaikh Mohammad added: “The generosity of the UAE’s people in Yemen was beyond limits. This generosity is deep-rooted in the people of the UAE; you can’t say that it’s the result of chance, that it came out of [a] void.”

Later, Dr Al Falahi said some of the challenges that the UAE Red Crescent faced were from extremist organisations, including the Muslim Brotherhood. For example, he said, Hamas, which is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, fired a rocket at an Israeli plane from the UAE field hospital in Gaza as it was being built, which prompted an Israeli attack on the area. As the UAE delegation left Gaza, he added, Hamas members levelled false accusations against them.

Dr. Al Falahi said that loyalty was a characteristic of the people of the UAE. “Loyalty is a great weapon that was mastered by our Prophet Mohammad (PBUH),” he said. “Loyalty turns an ordinary leader into a leader whose life is redeemed by the lives of others.”

“A month ago, a convoy of the UAE Red Crescent was subject to a booby-trap attack; we were surprised to know that these men insisted on completing their mission right after the explosion even though the Red Crescent told them they could leave if they wished to,” Dr Al Falahi said.

Dr. Al Falahi earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sharia and Law, Islamic Studies Programme, at the UAE University, followed by a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the New York Institute of Technology and finally a PhD from Mohammad V University — Agdal, where his thesis focused on managing individuals from an Islamic perspective.

He serves in a number of boards including that of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (GAIAE), the International Humanitarian City (IHC), and of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood. He also serves as a member of the Standing Committee to follow up the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Human Rights as well as serving as Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Centre of Ewa’a Shelters until 2013.

The Ramadan series of lectures is part of His Highness’s efforts to spread the spirit of knowledge and learning in the United Arab Emirates, by inviting renowned scholars, experts, officials and entrepreneurs to speak at his majlis at Al Bateen Palace in Abu Dhabi. The lectures are attended by senior government officials, diplomats, business leaders and others.