One of the badges that will be labelled with the name of a martyr and sent to the International Space Station. Antonie Robertson / The National
One of the badges that will be labelled with the name of a martyr and sent to the International Space Station. Antonie Robertson / The National

UAE Space Agency to send names of Emirati martyrs into space



ABU DHABI // Supporting widows and orphans of fallen servicemen is one of fourteen initiatives put forward by the UAE Space Agency as part of the Year of Giving.

The agency will commemorate the country’s martyrs and pair up with Emirates Red Crescent to organise humanitarian projects.

As part of the Martyrs Badge initiative, each insignia is decorated with the names of fallen Emirati soldiers and sent to the International Space Station then returned to Earth and given to their families.

A commemorative brochure will be produced and distributed to martyrs’ mothers, which will contain personal messages of pride and gratitude from staff.

One of the agency’s headquarters rooms will also be renamed the Martyrs’ Hall.

Another project will involve the donation and distribution of seed samples of plants to raise awareness of the importance of agriculture in space.

Other charitable work will include a Ramadan iftar at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a campaign to distribute cold water to workers in the streets and blood donations by staff.

Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi, director general of the UAE Space Agency, said the moves are part of its commitment to humanitarian and social values.

In 2015, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, ordered the construction of a memorial in Abu Dhabi for more than 60 Emiratis who died in the fight to restore stability in Yemen, organised by the Martyrs Families’ Affairs Office at the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court.

The country now commemorates the loss of the servicemen each year with Martyrs’ Day, a national holiday held on November 30. More than 100 have lost their lives in Yemen to date.

Last year, events were held in schools and universities, along with other social functions, allowing people to pay their respects.

#The_UAE_Remembers campaign culminated in the symbolic lowering of the national flag as people across the country remembered those lost to conflict.

mswan@thenational.ae

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