Sharjah: Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF) and UNHCR Eminent Advocate, has conferred on Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and the Humanitarian Envoy of TBHF, the prestigious ‘Jawaher Medal of Honour’.
The medal has been awarded in recognition of his exemplary humanitarian leadership reflected in his steadfast work to improve the lives of millions of forcibly displaced peoples worldwide and in building the capacities of host communities to be able to provide a better quality of life.
This occurred during the honouring ceremony on Wednesday in the presence of Sheikh Saud bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Director of Sharjah Digital Office; Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Department of Government Relations (DGR); Abdul Rahman Al Owais, UAE Minister of Health and Prevention and Board Member of Sharjah Islamic Bank; Sheikha Hind bint Majid Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Business Women’s Council; and a number of government senior officials, heads, and directors of authorities and in entities the Emirate of Sharjah.
Launched in 2016, the Jawaher Medal of Honour is a leading initiative designed to recognise and honour the consistent and impact-creating humanitarian efforts of an outstanding personality, and to create role models out of them to inspire individuals and entities worldwide.
Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi has opined that inspiring models like the Deputy Ruler of Sharjah transform social development from singular acts into a global movement by setting successful examples and encouraging community-wide efforts to do good.
She further noted that it is these exceptional contributions to humanitarian development that the Jawaher Medal of Honour turns the spotlight on, celebrating the successful efforts of a single individual that has the power to change the fates of thousands of vulnerable people and their future generations.
Sheikha Jawaher: Philanthropists consider their impact on people as the highest honour
Sheikha Jawher said: “We know that those who are truly committed to philanthropy do not seek recognition, nor ask for anything in return as they consider the positive impact of their goodness on people’s lives as the highest honour. However, it is our duty to show them our gratitude and appreciation and highlight their work’s importance and sustainable impact”.
The best way to give back
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed thanked Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi for showing great confidence and trust in him, noting that when a humanitarian honour is conferred upon by a global pioneer in the field, the responsibility and consequences are greater.
Reflecting on the values he gained from the Sharjah community shaped by the human-centric leadership of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Sultan bin Ahmed, remarked: “What comes to my mind at this moment are the words of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah: ‘Our world is one, and human and environmental events that occur anywhere are bound to have global consequences in one form or another’. This is what we have learnt from His Highness — the interconnectedness of people, of our destinies and aspirations”.
“I firmly believe that what I have achieved in my life is a product of my learnings in Sharjah and the UAE, and my actions are giving back to the same community that has shaped my ethics and intellect. The best way to give back is to broaden one’s impact”, the Deputy Ruler of Sharjah said.
“I now have a bigger mission set and more work to do in honour of this trust. Through my journey of uplifting people and communities, I have learnt that what we give takes a full circle to come back and benefit the person who did good, their family, and their community” HH Sultan bin Ahmed further noted.
Uplifting communities of millions
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed has worked tirelessly within Sharjah’s and the UAE’s integrated systems to advocate for global issues and serve millions of vulnerable people around the world. His remarkable contributions span knowledge, arts, media and institutional practices, and extend to major contributions to infrastructure development, the establishment of service institutions and facilities, and the creation of talent incubators to support victims of war, natural calamities and civic unrest. He has spearheaded significant projects and initiatives that aim to uplift society and foster ambition.
In addition to his significant local responsibilities, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed has spearheaded global humanitarian projects led by TBHF as their Humanitarian Envoy. Between 2017 and 2023, he undertook numerous visits to refugee camps in Bangladesh and Kenya — two under-resourced nations that serve as host communities to a significant population of displaced migrants that the TBHF has been serving through leading emergency aid and rehabilitation programmes with partnering agencies like the UNHCR.
He led the TBHF’s delegation to the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh, where a hospital was inaugurated, providing advanced healthcare services to refugees and the underprivileged within the local community. Additionally, he actively engaged in TBHF’s press trip to the ‘Big Heart Clinic’ in Zaatari Camp, Jordan.
In 2018, he participated in the signing of a cooperation agreement between TBHF and the Malala Fund in Oxford, UK. The agreement pledged TBHF’s funding support to the second phase of a project to construct the first school for girls in Pakistan’s Swat Valley through TBHF’s ‘Girl Child Fund’. Leveraging his influential media position, he also actively participated in various media campaigns initiated by TBHF, including ‘Support knows no safe distance,’ launched in response to the urgent needs arising from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
'Home for a Home'
More recently in March 2023, the Deputy Ruler of Sharjah led an official field visit organised by TBHF to the Republic of Kenya and inaugurated the ‘Home for a Home’ project in Kenya’s Kalobeyei Settlement adjacent to one of Kenya’s Kakuma camps. The Shelter & WASH project, a collaboration between Arada Developments, TBHF and UNHCR, aims to provide safe housing, sanitation and clean water supply to over 55,000 individuals in the settlement and surrounding host community. During the inauguration, the Deputy Ruler of Sharjah placed the final stone in the last shelter to signal the completion of the first phase of the project that comprises 176 permanent shelters, each one with a latrine and sanitation facilities.