Abu Dhabi: During a recent condolence visit, the wisdom and understanding of an unlettered mother to an Emirati martyr humbled and awed His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
“She was so forward-thinking. Even in her grief, she was actually grateful and thanked me. She told me she knew that our actions today were helping secure the UAE’s future, and preventing war from coming to our shores. These women are role models for all members of our society,” Shaikh Mohammad said.
Speaking at the closing session of the Mohammad Bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generation, which coincided with International Women’s Day, he saluted the mothers of Emirati martyrs.
“We owe these mothers a debt of gratitude. They have been forged from enormous trials and are an inspiration to us all,” he said.
His candid words held a 3,000-strong audience of Emirati university students, servicemen and UAE leaders spellbound for nearly an hour,
According to the leader, the UAE must benefit from the contributions of its talented women — its mothers, grandmothers, wives and teachers — in order to maximise its growth and development.
“Women actually make up more than 50 per cent of our population, and they have the skills and the competence to transform and develop our economy. We must use their contributions if we want to ‘stretch the dollar till the last cent’,” he said.
The leader narrated how he once couldn’t imagine a woman in the role of a police officer.
“Look at the Armed Forces now. We have so many women officers,” he said, urging Emiratis to strive for the betterment of both men and women in the UAE society.
Shaikh Mohammad also mentioned how he had spoken to his 15-year-old daughter, Hessa, to gain an understanding of today’s youth.
“She is here with me today, and I know that she and other 15-year-olds today know and understand so much more than I did at their age. In that regard, the challenges they will face will also be much more complex,” he said.
He then urged the youth to arm themselves with knowledge and skills to take on the world.