ABU DHABI // As well as having a festival taking place in her honour on the Corniche, Sheikha Fatima is to have a popular city park renamed after her.
On Monday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, ordered the changing of the name of Mushrif Central Park to Mother of the Nation Park.
Sheikha Fatima – Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood – is the widow of Sheikh Zayed, the Founding President.
The park in Mushrif recently underwent an extensive refurbishment programme, adding new recreation and sports facilities.
These included the Garden of Wisdom, which enshrines the legacy of Sheikh Zayed with its walls being engraved with some of his most poignant words. There is also an open theatre, a garden containing local and tropical plants and shrubs, a children’s garden, which has a giant screen to show movies, an interactive fountain, and a special corner for pets.
Saeed Eid Al Ghafli, chairman of the Executive Office, said: “To speak about Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak is to speak about a march of giving and achievement, struggle and perseverance.”
She was Sheikh Zayed’s “everlasting source of support and his closest companion, especially at the early stage of founding the UAE”, added Mr Ghafli.
He said that Sheikha Fatima had played a pivotal role in boosting the family and building a strong society.
This idea was at the forefront of her ideology “as she believed that a cohesive society is capable of giving endlessly, and draws its strength from a strong family”.
He said Sheikha Fatima had “provided a unique model of a dedicated woman, become a symbol and a role model, providing inspiration to all the sons and daughters of the UAE”.