A view of Sharjah Waterfront at Sharjah Corniche Image Credit: Atiq-Ur-Rehman/Gulf News archives

Sharjah: Sharjah on Tuesday announced a package of development projects and governmental initiatives that aim to support the financial situation of people in the Emirate during the current situation.

The projects were announced by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, while taking part in the Direct Line Programme, broadcast live on Sharjah Radio and Television.

During his intervention, His Highness reassured the people saying, “People like to live in ease and happiness all the time, but Allah Almighty test us from time to time, and this is a test from him”.

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He called on all people in Sharjah to stay at home, avoid crowds, and use this time to strengthen family ties and read the Holy Quran as it is a great source of inspiration and reassurance.

The development projects include the reconstruction of worn buildings in Kalba, as a gift from His Highness to the buildings’ owners; establishing a recycling plant in the Elebriddi region, to serve the cities of Khor Fakkan, Kalba, Diba Al hisn, and Al Dhaid; achieving zero waste in Sharjah; and establishing governmental health insurance fund for 101,300 non-insured citizens with annual cost of Dh760 million.

The Sharjah Ruler stressed that throughout the history, hardships were always followed by better times, quoting a verse of the Holy Quran.

“Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Who say, when afflicted with calamity: ‘To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return’. They are those on whom (Descend) blessings from Allah, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance.” (2:155 – 2157)

He went on to say that Allah Almighty is the Most Merciful and will help us through these hardships. He also lauded the measures taken in the UAE to manage the crisis, unlike some other countries that might have came short in managing the issue.

He stressed that everyone has a role to play in these critical times to protect their families and loved ones by staying at home.

“It is a great opportunity for some family time,” Dr Sheikh Sultan added, “I used to ask some parents about their children’s school and grade but found out they don’t know due to the busy life. Now they are at home teaching their children and making sure that they are safe and sound. Therefore, such hardships might have some good in them as well.”

“We need to get through this crisis with lessons learned. We need to learn the importance of family time, how to not overspend, and how to avoid bad habits. Many people were used to eating unhealthy foods outside, now they cook their meals with their own hands to feed their children healthy better food,” His Highness added.

As for working remotely, Dr Sheikh Sultan noted that he is working remotely as well, overseeing several projects throughout the emirate of Sharjah in addition to working on books, academic researches and historical studies.