The pride of a martyr’s son

Mohammed Al Mubarak's father, Khalifa Al Mubarak, was assassinated while serving as the UAE Ambassador to France in 1984.

Khalifa Al Mubarak, Ambassador to France from 1980 until his death in 1984. Courtesy Al Ittihad
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ABU DHABI // Mohammed Al Mubarak was only two years old when his father died.

Yet Mohammed, the chief executive of Aldar Properties, says he is incredibly proud of his father’s martyr status.

Khalifa Al Mubarak was assassinated while serving as the UAE Ambassador to France in 1984.

He was shot in the back of the head by a terrorist outside his apartment in Paris, a few steps away from the Eiffel Tower.

Mohammed says the “one thing I was brought up to know, to live my life to understand that, basically, being a martyr or dying for the right cause” was a great honour.

As for similarities with his father, Mohammed says: “I definitely look like him.”

He also believes he has inherited his father’s passion for work.

“He always wanted to broadcast what the UAE brought to the world and today I want to make sure that everybody knows what the UAE is all about and what Abu Dhabi is all about.”

His father loved the UAE, Mohammed says, and wanted to share the vision of Sheikh Zayed, the Founding President, with the world.

“The idea was to create a country and environment that people from all over the world come to find happiness,” he says. “This is what Sheikh Zayed and President Sheikh Khalifa have created here.”

As well as his successful career, Mohammed hopes his father would be proud of the way he is raising his two daughters, Alyazia, 4, and Aya, 3.

He says he is teaching his children about “loving their country, cherishing their country, wanting to grow up to come back and make a difference”.

The Government has recently taken several steps to commemorate the UAE’s fallen heroes – for Khalifa Al Mubarak, a street behind the Crown Prince’s Court in Al Bateen was named after him.

“The leadership here has humbled us by gestures like this,” Mohammed says.

“We are very proud with what happened to my father, we were raised to keep our head high. As an Emirati it would be a dream to fall into that category and to lose my life for a great cause.”

He believes the first Commemoration Day this year will “make sure everybody remembers what [the martyrs] have done ... [Our] soldiers, they lost their lives but by losing their lives they have made somebody’s life a lot better. Whether it was a child in Aden or a mother or a father they were there to protect”, he says.

In the lead up to Commemoration Day The National speaks to the families of the soldiers who have died while serving the UAE. Check out our coverage here:

UAE fallen soldier was father to whole community

Children of UAE hero killed in Yemen proud of father's sacrifice

UAE soldier killed in rocket attack was a man of faith and love