Sharjah: The Sharjah Punitive and Rehabilitation Establishment is taking a number of steps to offer inmates at the correctional facility in the emirate with better facilities and an improved environment. The ‘Sheikh Zayed Photo Exhibition’ is a step in that direction.
Prisoners in Sharjah jails now have the opportunity to explore the achievements of UAE’s Founding Father late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan through photographs displayed at the exhibition at Sharjah Punitive and Rehabilitation Establishments. Along with the ‘Sheikh Zayed Photo Exhibition’, which opened recently for the inmates, a seminar titled ‘Zayed, the Man of Humanitarian Actions’, is also being held, in solidarity with the International Day for Human Rights.
Brigadier Ahmad Abdul Aziz Shuhail, Director-General of the Sharjah Punitive and Rehabilitation Establishment, opened the exhibition, accompanied by a representative from the United Nations and a delegation from the Human Rights Association.
Dr Saif Al Badwawi, an expert on UAE history, and a delegation from the Sharjah Museums Authority attended the ceremony. The idea behind the exhibition and the seminar is to raise awareness on the importance of tolerance, helping others and to highlight the issue of equality among inmates. Brigadier Ahmad Abdul Aziz Shuhail, Director-General of the Sharjah Punitive and Rehabilitation Establishment, told Gulf News: “We should follow him [late Sheikh Zayed] in all his noble and good deeds. He had a strong vision and a commitment towards his people,” Brig. Shuhail said.
The exhibition showcases 100 rare and historical pictures of late Sheikh Zayed, detailing the timeline of his life from 1949 to 2001. More than 200 inmates have visited the exhibition over the past few days. Everyday, a round 20-25 inmates visit the exhibition. The pictures also reveal how Sheikh Zayed promoted his humanitarian development programmes.
Captain Khalfan Salem Bin Shaqwa, director of the Educational and Rehabilitation branch, told Gulf News that the main aim of the exhibition was to help inmates focus on acceptance, support and reconciliation. “It basically boosts the self-esteem of the inmates when they get involved in different activities, and upon release, they will be able to work hard because by then, they will have known the importance of family. We offer them a number of programmes so that they can reform themselves and we cater to all nationalities,” he added.
“It is also our duty to follow up on those who have been released and make sure they are doing all right. We try as much as we can, with outside partners, of course, to help them become contributing members of society by cooperating with them and helping them find jobs,” said Capt Bin Shaqwa.
The establishment has also prepared a documentary film on the achievements of the late Sheikh Zayed, This documentary is shown while the inmates visit the exhibition.
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Asker Jabran, an Arab inmate, said the exhibition was a nice experience because he learnt about the achievements of late Sheikh Zayed, globally as well as in the UAE. He had worked tirelessly for his country and placed great value in preserving its culture and heritage and in its citizens’ pursuit of knowledge.” Faraj Humaid, another inmate, said the photographs explained the historical significance of Sheikh Zayed’s rule and the impact of his legacy on the UAE. If one looks back at Sheikh Zayed’s life, there is evidence everywhere in his actions of the way in which he cared for other people — the old and the young, men and women, citizens and expatriates — in the UAE.”
Meanwhile, on Monday, Brig Shuhail organised a ceremony to honour more than 30 office boys and cleaners who had worked in the establishment, in recognition for their efforts. These employees were provided winter garments, uniform, shoes, rain coat and gloves.