Dubai: As UAE armed forces convoy began the last leg of their journey home yesterday [November 7], social media users stormed the internet with pictures, videos, greetings and words of praise.
The 15km-long soldiers’ convoy began at the border of UAE and Saudi Arabia, and arrived at Zayed Military Camp in Sweihan, Abu Dhabi. The convoy’s journey was accompanied by cheering crowds and raised flags – a response that was captured through the hashtag ‘Our_Army_Our_Pride’.
According to real time tracker @Trend_UAE, the hashtag gained more than 58 million views worldwide. Its Arabic equivalent had over 554 million impressions. More than 7,300 people from the UAE and other countries tweeted about the troops’ return, with many senior officials also sharing their best wishes.
We welcome the return of the first batch of our armed forces in Yemen, part of the coalition led by Saudi Arabia #Our_Army_Our_Pride— Hamdan bin Mohammed (@HamdanMohammed) November 6, 2015
Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Crown Prince of Dubai, tweeted from his handle, @HamdanMohammed: “We welcome the return of the first batch of our armed forces in Yemen, part of the coalition led by Saudi Arabia. #Our_Army_Our_Pride”
Twitter user @mkhameli wrote: “It is a happy day for our country and for the people that love and care for the safety of the UAE.”
Another user, @baderalkaabi tweeted: “I’m really proud to have a strong army, who can defend and keep us safe and secure.”
Fujairah-based @Ravaidyal tweeted: “A day of victory! Be proud — our beloved UAE is making history today.”
Emirati reader @Roudah_T, who currently resides in the UK, watched the telecast of the homecoming. She tweeted: “No words can describe this beautiful scene. I can’t begin to describe how proud I am of my beloved country.”
On Instagram too, social media users shared creative pictures greeting UAE’s soldiers and welcoming them home.
Emirati national Nasser Al Neyadi, who goes by the Instagram handle @fazzasky3, posted a picture of himself freefalling at Skydive Dubai Desert Campus. He was wearing UAE army apparel and saluted mid-air, causing the post to go viral with over 3,500 likes in a matter of hours.
Expatriates in the UAE also welcomed home the armed forces, with posts on Facebook. Gulf News’ updates on Facebook garnered thousands of likes and hundreds of comments from well-wishers.
Pakistani Gulf News reader Yousuf Ashraf posted on Gulf News’ Facebook page: “Welcome back UAE heroes!”
Another reader, Alison Ganem, who is based in Dubai, wrote: “We salute you. Welcome home and thank you.”
Eric Alvarez, an Abu Dhabi resident, wrote: “Mission accomplished in restoring hope and peace in Yemen, and for maintaining peace in the region. Salute to the soldiers!”