Maryam Juma Mohammed stitches the UAE flag in her Sharjah home. Reem Mohammed / The National
Maryam Juma Mohammed stitches the UAE flag in her Sharjah home. Reem Mohammed / The National

Labour of love: Emirati grandmother hand stitches UAE flags to show her patriotism



SHARJAH // For the past three years, 88-year-old grandmother Maryam Juma Mohammed has shown her love for her country by stitching together a large UAE flag.

In 2013, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, announced that November 3 would be national Flag Day and appealed for Emiratis and expatriates to proudly fly their flags.

Ms Mohammed, an Emirati, decided to make her own to show her patriotism.

This year, the Emirati is working on two flags – one for the roof of her house and one to send to Sheikh Mohammed.

“My daughter brings me the cloth, and I sew it by hand using a needle and thread,” Ms Mohammed said. “Then, I use the sewing machine to make it stronger so it is not torn by the wind. I usually spend two days making the flag.

“This is the third year I have sewn my own flag to raise it on my house, because Sheikh Mohammed called on us to do that.”

Ms Mohammed can remember watching a television broadcast of when the nation’s Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, first raised the UAE flag in 1971.

“Before the union, each emirate had its own flag consisting of two colours,” she said. “The flag of Sharjah was red and white, and we used to raise it at our houses only when pilgrims come home from Haj, to express our happiness. But when the union occurred we all removed it and put up the unified flag,” she said.

The grandmother said she also participates in Flag Day celebrations by making dresses in the colours of the UAE flag for her granddaughters.

“Also, I go to the places where national celebrations are and I have always encouraged my sons and daughters since they were young to also participate to show their patriotism and love for their homeland,” she said.

roueiti@thenational.ae

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Pre-school (three - five years)

You can’t yet talk about investing or borrowing, but introduce a “classic” money bank and start putting gifts and allowances away. When the child wants a specific toy, have them save for it and help them track their progress.

Early childhood (six - eight years)

Replace the money bank with three jars labelled ‘saving’, ‘spending’ and ‘sharing’. Have the child divide their allowance into the three jars each week and explain their choices in splitting their pocket money. A guide could be 25 per cent saving, 50 per cent spending, 25 per cent for charity and gift-giving.

Middle childhood (nine - 11 years)

Open a bank savings account and help your child establish a budget and set a savings goal. Introduce the notion of ‘paying yourself first’ by putting away savings as soon as your allowance is paid.

Young teens (12 - 14 years)

Change your child’s allowance from weekly to monthly and help them pinpoint long-range goals such as a trip, so they can start longer-term saving and find new ways to increase their saving.

Teenage (15 - 18 years)

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Young adulthood (19 - 22 years)

Discuss post-graduation plans and future life goals, quantify expenses such as first apartment, work wardrobe, holidays and help them continue to save towards these goals.

* JP Morgan Private Bank 

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  • Listen actively without interrupting
  • Avoid assumptions, seek understanding, ask questions
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