ABU DHABI // A new online campaign has been launched to inspire pride in the mothers of servicemen who died in defence of the UAE.
The launch came as as Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, visited the families of martyrs Zayed Ali Al Kaabi and Mohammed Obaid Al Hmoudi yesterday.
The Crown Prince said the people of the UAE take pride in their heroes.
On Thursday, the Martyrs’ Families Affairs Office and the Mother of the Nation Festival’s organising committee launched the #martyrs’_mothers_a_pride_to_the_UAE hashtag on social media, reported state news agency Wam.
The organisers invited internet users to use the hashtag in their tweets to voice their respect for for the martyrs’ mothers.
Sheikh Mohammed described service personnel as “the protectors of our home country and the whole nation”.
“They are the ones who, in highly crucial moments, are making a new history for our region,” he said.
“They will always be bright examples in our national progress and the history of the region. Generations to come will always remember them with pride.”
Mothers of servicemen who died in years gone by welcomed the launch of the campaign and the upcoming Mother of the National Festival.
Farida Abdulaziz’s son, Ali Al Danhani, died at age 18 of heatstroke in 2007 while training at a military facility in Al Ain.
Ms Abdulaziz, 61, from Dibba Al Fujairah, said: “I have eight children and they are all willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the country.
“We got all the care and attention from the Government and our Rulers. They are our mentors and we are proud of them – and of our martyrs.”
Ali was her youngest son, and she described him as a “role model” for Emiratis.
“He died serving the country and we don’t have anything more precious than the country to die for,” she said.
Momtaz Al Din lost her son Ahmad Al Humaidi, 28, when his plane crashed in 2009 during military training.
She praised Mother of the Nation Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak – the widow of late Founder and President Sheikh Zayed – for her continuing support.
“Sheikha Fatima has influenced us all and her role and her contributions are much appreciated along with the Ruling Family,” said Ms Al Din, 59, from Masafi.
“We, as martyrs’ mothers, have handled the loss of our children with pride and glory. I have nine children and four of them are soldiers and three are police officers.
“Encouraging them to take part in protecting the country is my duty and their responsibility.”
The first edition of the Mother of the Nation Festival, organised by the Abu Dhabi Authority Tourism and Culture Authority, will take place along the Corniche starting Thursday to April 2.
The festival will highlight the vision of Sheikha Fatima, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of Motherhood and Childhood Supreme Council, who promotes family ties, generosity and a culture of cultural diversity and tolerance within the Emirati community.