DUBAI // The 19th of Ramadan will from now be known as Zayed Day for Humanitarian Work, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, announced yesterday.
"God does not give to those who do not give," Sheikh Zayed once said.
The UAE has been participating in and supporting humanitarian programmes since 1986.
Sheikh Mohammed received certificates of appreciation from various branches of the United Nations, including a letter of appreciation from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, for the UAE contribution to humanitarian efforts around the world.
The President, Sheikh Khalifa, welcomed the initiative, which falls on the ninth anniversary of the passing of the father of the UAE based on the Hijri calendar.
"It's a kind initiative which we support and urge all - individuals and government and non-government organisations - to support and sponsor, engage and rally behind it for promoting values of goodness, nobleness and giving, which constitute core components of the Emirati national identity," the President said.
"It also glorifies the culture of human volunteerism, cooperation and solidarity whose good seed was sown by the late Sheikh Zayed, and his fellows the founding fathers. Their sons, grandsons and people of the UAE are all today pursuing their footsteps.
"On this blessed day of the holy month of Ramadan, we remember them all with deep sense of affection and loyalty and pray that their souls rest in eternal peace for what they offered to their homeland, nation and the humanity at large.
"They were the generation of generosity and giving - our fathers whom we take pride in and whom we are proud of before other nations."
"Whatever we say and however much we talk about Sheikh Zayed's kindness and philanthropy we still cannot do it justice, his kindness knew no bounds," Mohammed al Zaroni, Director of the Dubai Branch of the Red Crescent Authority.
"Zayed is what all Emiratis aspire to be like, every Emirati knows that they are the son or daughter of Zayed," said Al Zaroni.
The Red Crescent is in charge of distributing the aid for Sheikh Mohammed's Clothe One Million Children, which was launched at the start of Ramadan and managed to surpass its target in only 10 days.
"The RCA's aid efforts reach as far as the Philippines, Bosnia, Mexico and beyond," he said. "This is a due to the support that Sheikh Zayed gave us, which the UAE leaders are now continuing to raise the banner for."
"Since we lost in 2004, a great philanthropist and the founding father of the UAE the late Sheikh Zayed, we have been inspired by his rich legacy," said Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of the RCA. Sheikh Hamdan paid a tribute to the RCA employees and volunteers for their self-denial and sacrifices, noting that they have been providing necessary assistance to those need it to alleviate suffering.
He also praised Emirati and resident philanthropists for their valuable support to the RCA.
The President added that Sheikh Zayed's philanthropic legacy inspires UAE people and community organisations to donate generously in support of the needy and vulnerable segments within the UAE and abroad.
"We value these government and private humanitarian initiatives which swept across the country in response to the Federal Cabinet resolution to dedicate the anniversary of the late Sheikh Zayed as a celebration of the Emirates Humanitarian Work Day."
The President gave thanks to all those who have contributed to the success of the day which firmly promotes the benevolent, humanitarian image of the UAE, enabling "our experiment, our State and our citizens" to earn the respect and regard of the world.
Sheikh Khalifa prayed to Allah to protect "our State; the State of security, peace and decent life; the State of giving which extends its helping hand to the poor and needy everywhere".