Dubai: Showcasing their love for the UAE, students at Rashid Centre for People of Determination celebrated the National Flag Day with Dubai Police, ahead of the actual event on November 3.
The students welcomed the visitors with Al Ayyala dance, embodying Emirati values and heritage. Dancing to the rhythm of drums and carrying thin bamboo canes, the male students stood shoulder to shoulder with officers from Dubai Police, led by Brig Abdelrahman Khalifa Abdulla Al Shaer, deputy director of the Human Rights Department at Dubai Police.
One student stood in the middle of the group to perform Youlah, another heritage dance that involves spinning a replica rifle, as more performers made alternating movements with their heads, shoulders, arms and canes, celebrating valour and chivalry.
The students also held a parade inside the centre as they waved UAE flags while some students were busy drawing and colouring UAE flags; and others were printing shirts in UAE national colours.
Another highlight of the celebration was the singing of ‘Beautiful UAE’ to the tune of the 1972 hit song ‘Beautiful Sunday’ by Daniel Boone and Rod McQueen. The students changed the lyrics to “Hi hi hi, beautiful country...This is my my my beautiful UAE.”
Show of patriotism
Al Shaer told Gulf News: “This event is a good show of the students’ patriotism. We join them (Rashid Centre for People of Determination) every year in celebrating Flag Day and their enthusiasm and love for the UAE serves as an inspiration to all.”
Mariam Othman, CEO and director of Rashid Centre for People of Determination, added: “We are happy to have instilled this strong patriotic fervour among our students.”
“This event is also our own way of thanking the UAE for giving opportunities to people of determination. Since our inception in 1994, Rashid Centre has been providing a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to special education and we have witnessed how people in the UAE have changed their perception on people with special needs or what the UAE call as ‘people of determination,” Othman added.
Skills in carpentry
Aside from the Flag Day celebration, the students at Rashid Centre also showcased their skills in carpentry, t-shirt and textile printing, painting, as well as basket-weaving, making handbags, accessories, jewellery, and other items. They also displayed the vegetables they have grown at school and cookies they have baked.
Flag Day is celebrated every November 3 in the UAE. Flag Day was first marked in 2013. It was conceived by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Although it is not a public holiday, Sheikh Mohammed has called on everyone in the UAE to hoist the flag simultaneously on November 3 at 11am “to express the unity of our home and our destiny”.
The UAE flag composed of three horizontal strips of green, white and black, and a vertical strip of red honour the pan-Arab colours, with each shade representing a virtue. Red for courage, green for hope, white for honesty and black for strength of mind.