Omar Mohammad Al Hajjaj
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan with Omar Mohammad Al Hajjaj at Al Bateen Palace in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: At 17 inches, Omar Mohammad Al Hajjaj’s hair is unusually long for an eight-year-old boy. If you didn’t know him you might think that it’s a fashion statement, but actually it’s much more than that. Every strand of hair that the Emirati schoolboy grows carries a message of great significance, so much so that even the UAE’s leaders have taken notice.

The grade two student of Al Mawakeb School in Al Khawaneej, who has been growing his hair since he was three-years old, plans to donate his flowing locks to cancer care organisations to make wigs for cancer patients who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy.

The youngest of three siblings in his family, Al Hajjaj decided to grow his hair long when he saw his aunt struggling with cancer. This is the third time he has grown it to this length as he continues to donate his hair to charities.

Hailed as a noble gesture, Al Hajjaj was invited to Al Bateen Palace recently where he met His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. Al Hajjaj and his family were part of a Ministry of Education delegation visiting the palace that also included a group of Emirati influencers and families.

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed lauded the boy for his courage and efforts in bringing happiness to the world, while also posing with him for pictures. Al Hajjaj became an overnight sensation among the Emirati community after his pictures with Shaikh Mohammad were shared several times on social media.