Disabled students thank Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed for new houses
ABU DHABI // When disabled students Hamda Khalfan and Saeed Al Mansouri met Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed earlier this year, he asked them how he could help them.
They told Sheikh Mohammed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, that having their own houses would make a great difference to their lives.
“Consider it done,” replied Sheikh Mohammed.
Last week, Ms Khalfan and Mr Al Mansouri, both students at the Abu Dhabi Centre for Special Needs, were given the keys to their new four-bedroom houses in Al Falah.
“I knew that when I asked Sheikh Mohammed for the house that I would get it, I was sure of it,” said Ms Khalfan, a wheelchair user who has a three-year-old son.
“This isn’t new to Sheikh Mohammed. He is the kindest man on Earth and helps everyone. As soon as I met him, I felt it in my heart that my life would be better.”
The meeting was made possible after their fellow student Humaid Al Mehri wrote a letter to The National telling of his dream to meet the Crown Prince.
The school was immediately contacted by his office and in June, a group of eight students were invited to the Sea Palace for a meeting.
The new homes have been modified to cater for the needs of disabled people.
“I can go out in the backyard and move from room to room,” says Mr Al Mansouri, who also uses a wheelchair.
Previously, Mr Al Mansouri lived in a small house in Baniyas which he shared with his nine half sisters and brothers.
“I had one room which had stairs. So I had to ask the maid the carry me to my room. The hallways were very narrow so I couldn’t move around. I didn’t go anywhere.”
In his new house “I can go to the garden and everywhere. It’s huge. It was made for people like us. Sheikh Mohammed has changed my life.”
Ms Khalfan added: “I cannot tell you how happy and secure I feel. I can’t describe it in words.”
Updated: September 20, 2015 04:00 AM