UAE leaders pay tribute to late Sheikha Hessa, mother of Sheikh Khalifa

The country's rulers and leaders took to social media on Sunday to offer their condolences to UAE President Sheikh Khalifa

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Led by her son, Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE, the country on Sunday began three days of mourning for Sheikha Hessa bin Mohammed bin Khalifa.

The announcement of the death of the first wife of Sheikh Zayed brought a flood of tributes from all walks of life.

Funeral prayers were held Sunday after the noon Dhurur prayers at Al Mu’tareed Mosque in Al Ain.

They were attended by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

Also in attendance were the Rulers of Ajman and Umm Al Quwain, as well as Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed, Representative to the UAE President, Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Tahnoon bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Ain, and a number of senior officials.

The official mourning period will see flags flown at half mast, the Ministry of Presidential Affairs announced. The Sultan bin Zayed Heritage Festival also announced that the event would be closed for three days to mourn Sheikha Hessa.

"My sincere condolences to my brother Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the death of Her Highness Sheikha Hessa bint Mohammed Al Nahyan," Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said on Twitter.

"Our condolences to the entire Al Nahyan family, to the people of the UAE and to every lover of the UAE and its President," he said.

The Ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, and the Ruler of Fujairah, Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi each issued statements extending their condolences to Sheikh Khalifa and the people of the UAE.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed also offered condolences saying "With great sorrow, we have lost the mother of the head of state, Sheikha Hessa bint Mohammed Al Nahyan."

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces paid tribute to Sheikha Hessa's kind and giving nature towards her family and the people of the UAE and prayed for God to have mercy on her soul.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, prayed for God to forgive Sheikha Hessa and grant her mercy. He said he prayed she be granted entry into heaven and God accept her good deeds.

Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, tweeted: "We mourn the death of Sheikha Hessa and ask God to accept all she offered in acts of kindness and giving and allow her to dwell in the highest paradise."

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, also offered his "sincere condolences" to Sheikh Khalifa and prayed for God to accept Sheikh Hessa under his mercy and grant her passage to heaven. He prayed for God to grant the Al Nahyan family peace and patience.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, said "May God grant us solace on the death of the dear mother of Sheikh Khalifa."

Princess Haya of Jordan, wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, passed on her "heartfelt condolences and sympathy to Sheikh Khalifa" on the death of his mother who she said was "beloved and respected across the nation".

Suhaila Al Shamsi, advisor and companion to Sheikha Hessa told The National she is overwhelmed with grief over the loss of a friend who dedicated her life to helping others.

“Whenever she had a visitor she would always ask if she could help them in anyway. If it was a mother, she would ask her if her children were well and are in school or employed. If they were unemployed, she would always make sure they immediately got a job.

“We are so overwhelmed with grief over her loss. Her entire life was dedicated to helping UAE nationals and expatriates ... to help all those in need around the world,” said Mrs Al Shamsi.

Sheikha Hessa was a philanthropist and of her most notable charitable legacy was the building of mosques inside and outside the UAE. “Sheikh Hessa built 50 mosques in the UAE alone and nineteen Quran schools,” Mrs Al Shamsi said.


Read more:

Sheikha Hessa, mother of Sheikh Khalifa, dies

The UAE's official mourning period explained


Sultan Qaboos bin Said of Oman and the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Dr. Shawki Allam, also offered theri condolences

Sheikha Hessa was the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the great granddaughter of Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa, known as Zayed the First.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan was born at Qasr al Muwaiji in Al Ain in 1948, the home of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed the First, which passed to his son, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa.