A mother’s love celebrated in UAE’s first Mother of the Nation Festival
The first Mother of the Nation Festival, from March 24 to April 2, will be a tribute to the crucial role women have played in building the UAE and highlight the contribution and the values of Sheikha Fatima, the wife of Sheikh Zayed, the Founder.
ABU DHABI // They say a mother’s work is never done, but when it comes to the centrepiece of the forthcoming Mother of the Nation Festival, it has barely begun.
According to the latest architectural renderings a temporary exhibition space, The Pavilion, which has been designed especially for the festival in Abu Dhabi from March 24 to April 2, consists of a 30x40 metre box wrapped in wooden, gold-painted mashrabiya panels and will include 13 exhibits dedicated to recognise the crucial role women have played in building the UAE and highlight the contribution and the values of the Mother of the Nation, Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, the wife of Sheikh Zayed, the Founding President.
She is the mother of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Sheikh Hamdan, Sheikh Hazza, Sheikh Tahnoun, Sheikh Mansour and Sheikh Abdullah as well as Sheikhas Alyazia and Shamma.
Sheikha Fatima has been recognised for her contribution to women’s development at local, regional and international levels.
She has received more than 500 awards, including 30 in 1997.
Sheikha Fatima received awards from five agencies of the United Nation – Unicef, the World Health Organisation, the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations Volunteer Programme and the United Nations Development Fund for Women.
Born in Al Hayer in Al Ain as her parents’ only daughter, Sheikha Fatima married Sheikh Zayed while he was serving as the Ruler’s Representative in the Eastern Region in Al Ain in the 1960s.
In 1973, Sheikha Fatima initiated the establishment of the Abu Dhabi Women’s Development Society, the first women’s assembly in the country, and this was followed, in 1975, by the UAE Women’s Federation, a social and cultural organisation dedicated to improving social care and literacy among women.
She is also chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, supreme chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and president of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.
The Mother of a Nation Festival will be held along 1.3 kilometres of Abu Dhabi’s Corniche and will include exhibits, performances, and events across five themed areas. An Active Zone will focus on family health and fostering teamwork, an Art Zone will include a garden full of creative activities dedicated to the “art of motherhood” and a Conservation Zone has been designed to bring visitors closer to the UAE’s natural environment. These will be accompanied by beach dining and souq zones and The Pavilion will act as the festival’s focal point.
Visitors to The Pavilion will be able to see displays dedicated to Sheikha Fatima’s vision, inspirational qualities, wisdom and achievements, while displays such as Heritage Women will feature photographs of women from the 1950s and 1960s drawn from archives. Another, The Life of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, will include hitherto unseen photographs from the Mother of the Nation’s life, including images of the Oasis Hospital in Al Ain, Sheikh Zayed’s Al Ain majlis and desert camp in the 1970s and images from the childhood of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.
A third gallery, The Value Tree, will celebrate Sheikha Fatima’s commitment to family, heritage, conservation, community, art, education and charity while encouraging visitors to write their values that can be attached to the exhibit’s Value Tree.
“2016 marks the first edition of the Mother of the Nation Festival, which highlights the inspirational values of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak,” explains Hind Khoori, brand section manager at the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.
“Opening to the public four days after the UAE celebrates Mother’s Day, the festival is a refreshing reminder of the dedication, sacrifice, and passion that a mother gives to raise her family, her community, and – in the unique case of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak – her nation.”
The festival runs daily from 4pm to midnight. Tickets cost Dh20 per adult and Dh10 for children under 12.
Published: March 3, 2016 04:00 AM