UAE’s next generation will answer the call to serve

Ahead of National Day, students across the UAE are determined to give something back to a country that has invested so much in their future.

“I can serve the nation by applying what I already studied,” says Hind Al Ameri, a student from Abu Dhabi University. Photos Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National
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ABU DHABI // We have made so much progress – but the best is yet to come.

That’s the feeling of students across the UAE who are instilled with a desire to give something back to the country that has invested so much in their futures.

Qayed Al Mosaabi, 23, a fourth- year civil engineering student at the Higher Colleges of Technology, promised to do everything he could to help the country become one of the best in the world.

“Our efforts are very small but if every Emirati determines to contribute to the country it will be a great asset,” he said.

“I’ll do whatever I can. Our country is poised to be one of five best Governments in the world by 2030 and I want to be a part in its development.”

Khalifa University student Khalid Rashid Kayoumi, is studying mechanical engineering and was also determined to serve.

“The government has provided us with facilities for higher education so ultimately we have to serve it, otherwise what is the use of our qualifications? That’s what I’ll do,” he said.

However, not all students go to college straight from school. Some have jobs but were returning to improve their skills.

Kholod Al Rumaithi, 32, works with a government body but this year enrolled on a bachelor of business administration degree at Abu Dhabi University.

She also planned to do a doctorate and appreciates the investment made in her education.

“The government has spent billions on our education and we have to pay them back in terms of our service. I will continue to work for the nation and that is what I can best offer my dear country,” she said.

National Day also provided a chance to tell the world and expatriates about the traditions and culture of the UAE.

“The progress we made over the years after the unification of the Emirates is noteworthy. The feeling of being united and being one is great. So we mark the day with a series of fun-filled activities at home inviting relatives and friends,” said Ms Al Rumaithi.

“In fact, on the day, we would also like to showcase our culture and traditions to the outside world and to residents from different cultures who live here.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Bashayer Al Marzooqi, a 21-year-old aerospace engineering student at Khalifa University.

“The National Day is everything to me. I feel pride indulging in decorations and traditional performances,” she said.

“On the day, I want to send a message to expatriates and tourists about our culture and traditions,” Ms Al Marzooqi said.

“Yes, I am indebted to the country which spent millions on us and I would pay the community back by offering my services to it after finishing my studies,” said Ms Al Marzooqi.

The UAE was not just investing in education, it was also providing career guidance and opening up opportunities in the public and private sector for all Emiratis.

According to the National Statistics Bureau, there are about 20,000 Emiratis in the private sector, out of more than four million workers, compared with 225,000 Emiratis in the public sector.

Hind Al Ameri, 22, is going to graduate with a bachelor in environmental science from Abu Dhabi University in December.

“I plan to join any agency related to the environmental science. The country has been looking for more people having expertise in the field, so I think I have a chance in this area,” Ms Al Ameri said.

“I can serve the nation by applying what I already studied. I can give back to the nation by working,” added Ms Al Ameri, who is set to pursue her masters abroad after getting a couple of years experience in the UAE.

Sara Salem bin Othman, 22, a first year IT student at Abu Dhabi University’s Al Ain campus, was also thinking of studying abroad.

But like so many of her peers, she will return after getting international experience to help the UAE to a bright future.

She said: “When we see the difference the UAE has been through in the past 42 years, we know for sure the best is on its way and it has yet to come. We hope to be part of it.”