Tributes paid after death of Emirati drag racer

Hamda Taryam, 24, was renowned for her philanthropic work in Africa and featured in Netflix show The Fastest

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Tributes have been paid to a young Emirati drag racer and philanthropist who died in the early hours of Saturday.

Hamda Taryam, 24, was renowned for being one of the first Emirati drag racers and was featured in the Netflix show The Fastest.

At the age of 21, she founded the Hamda Foundation, through which she helped to build wells, a school and a hospital for orphans in the Ugandan town of Masaka.

The news of her death, which was confirmed by a family member, was greeted with an outpouring of tributes across social media.

Emirati singer Hussain Al Jassmi was among the first to pay respects on social media.

“Giving will never die. May God have mercy and forgiveness on her and give patience to her family,” Al Jassmi said in a post on social media.

Emirati singer and actress Balqees Ahmed also mourned Ms Taryam.

“May God have mercy on her soul. Her death is a tragedy. I didn’t know her personally, but I loved her due to her simplicity, and her charitable and humanitarian work in Africa,” Ms Ahmed wrote on social media.

Ms Taryam used the help of sponsors and acquaintances she met during her motorsports career to fund her philanthropic work in Africa.

She helped to build a well in Masaka, in her mother’s name, and a classroom at the town's school is named after her father.

Emirati Hassan Sajwani also took to social media to share a tribute to Ms Taryam.

“Rest in peace Hamda Taryam. Thank you for all you did for humanity,” he said.

'We lost a young Emirati philanthropist. What a remarkable and everlasting impression you left for us. God bless your soul and you will be missed.”

Before Emirati Women's Day last year, Ms Taryam told The National how important it was for women to support one another.

“Women who reach a specific position have to support each other because this is something that will show other women that people are there to support you,” she said.

The cause of her death has not yet been released by authorities.

Sharjah Ruler pledges support

Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, on Sunday announced a Dh1 million donation would be made to support the completion of projects in Uganda by the Hamda Foundation.

The pledge will be made through the Sharjah Charity Association.

Sheikh Dr Sultan offered his condolences to the Taryam family during a visit to a mourning council in the Wasit district of Sharjah.

Updated: January 29, 2024, 5:38 AM