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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 4 March 2021

Flag Day baby delivers joyful celebration for Abu Dhabi family

Younis Atef was born on Tuesday - less than a year after brother Yousef made his way into the world on UAE National Day

Heba Atef holds her new baby Younis, born on Flag Day, with son Yousef, husband Mohamed and two-year-old Dalida. Victor Besa/The National 
Heba Atef holds her new baby Younis, born on Flag Day, with son Yousef, husband Mohamed and two-year-old Dalida. Victor Besa/The National 

UAE Flag Day made it a week to remember for an Abu Dhabi family who, in this challenging year, welcomed their third child.

Mohamed Atef, 39, and wife Heba, 36, were dealt a hammer blow when their first born, Dalida, was found to have leukaemia.

After months of chemotherapy, the brave two-year-old is now out of hospital and looking forward to welcoming her mum and new baby brother back home.

She finished a six-month course of chemotherapy on Saturday – just three days before the family were delivered further good news.

Little Younis was born at Bareen International Hospital in Mohamed bin Zayed City on Tuesday, against the backdrop of a nationwide celebration.

There was no plan for Heba to give birth on Flag Day, it just happened

Mohamed Atef

The family has a habit of making such occasions all the more memorable.

Older brother Yousef was born on UAE National Day last year, strengthening the family’s bond with the country.

Flag Day was introduced in 2013 to commemorate the accession of Sheikh Khalifa as President of the UAE in 2004.

It will now be an extra special date for the Atefs.

“It has been a busy few days,” said proud father Mohamed. The Egyptian has been manager of a car rental company in Abu Dhabi for 14 years.

“There was no plan for Heba to give birth on Flag Day, it just happened.

“At the same night that my wife started to feel pain we went into the hospital and it was done. It was all totally out of our expectations.

“After the birth I was telling my wife that Younis was born a day after the Flag Day, it was then Heba told me I had the wrong date and he was in fact born on the same day.”

Mr Atef, who was born in the UAE but returned to the country to work only in 2004, said the family was relieved the arrival of Younis, weighing 3.2 kilograms, came three days after Dalida was allowed to go home after her chemotherapy.

Like her mother, she is also on the road to recovery.

“Dalida had been receiving treatment for six months, but thanks to God she finished the treatment on the Saturday and Younis was born on Tuesday,” Mr Atef said.

“Thankfully everything was handled at the proper time and it worked out well.

“It had been a long and hard time for us all, but she is much better than before.

“It has been really very difficult, but we have all survived this and now look forward to our future together.”

Flag Day lifts spirits across the nation:

Updated: November 5, 2020 02:48 PM

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