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Welcome to The National's weekly newsletter Beshara, where we share the most positive stories of the week.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, with the four 2024 Hope Makers finalists. The National
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, with the four 2024 Hope Makers finalists. The National

“In our part of the world, hope-making is life-making,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, told an emotional crowd at the Arab Hope Makers Awards this week.

Set up in 2017, the event honours individuals and organisations that are making a positive and powerful impact on their communities through voluntary efforts - and the very process of seeing nominations seeks to cast a light on those who are committed to doing good.

This year, the awards garnered 58,000 nominations.

Fifty. Eight. Thousand.

That’s 58,000 stories of hope and humanity.

And while I wouldn’t entirely envy the task of having to choose winners from among those tens of thousands(!) of submissions, hearing and sharing these stories is the lifeblood of Beshara.

The winner this year was ‘Mother of Warriors’ Tala Al Khalil, a pharmacist from Iraq who personally cares for 200 children with Down syndrome or cancer.

She was joined by three other finalists, including Moroccan YouTuber Amin Imnir who has financed hundreds of medical operations and distributed thousands of solar panels and food parcels to families in need.

And while none of them set out on their missions seeking to be praised or awarded on stages that are often kept for celebrities - it really is absolutely fitting that they are. (See the highlights of the night here or read more here.)

Hope makers are those who bring hope to those around them, where they can. And so we should seek them out, support them and revere them in any way we can.

Nicola Leech

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‘He was waiting his whole life to do this’

Hussain Shabeeb Al Shabeeb from Saudi Arabia is one of many who have donated their organs to complete strangers. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Hussain Shabeeb Al Shabeeb from Saudi Arabia is one of many who have donated their organs to complete strangers. Chris Whiteoak / The National

“There is no greater joy than helping to save someone's life. I know this is hard to believe but they were doing me a favour,” Hussain Shabeeb Al Shabeeb, a Saudi father of three told The National's Shireena Al Nowais.

He was one of a few incredible humans she spoke to this week about their decisions to donate organs for life-saving transplants.

You can read their stories here and learn about a recent, pivotal change to the law in the UAE where doctors are preparing to perform their first ever transplant from an altruistic donor.

“The UAE is looking into the future,” Dr Ali Obaidli, chief medical officer for Seha kidney care and chairman of the National Transplant Committee, said as he called for global collaboration on donor registers.

 

QUOTED

'I know the saying goes 'the sky is the limit', but to me as a female aviator I always say the sky has no gender and your altitude is only limited by your attitude'

Sheikha Mozah bint Marwan, the first female pilot in Dubai's ruling family, urging women to aim for the skies in a speech at the Arab Women's Summit in London

 

‘Symbol of hope for a better future’

“Each evening you’ll have Muslims, Christians and Jews sitting together in the cafe after attending the separate houses of worship.”

Today marks a year since Abu Dhabi’s stunning interfaith complex the Abrahamic Family House officially opened.

Technically a year and a day given the leap addition (admit it, you need to read this great explainer to remember exactly why this happens and what chaos might otherwise ensue).

In those twelve months since the site’s mosque, church and synagogue opened their doors - many of them the most turbulent months the world has seen in decades - Abdulla Al Shehhi, acting executive director of the complex, told us that they “have never seen any conflict or tension between them and that gives me hope for the future.”

Read more here.

 
 

SNAPSHOT

History was written at the Dubai Aquarium as Faisal Al Mosawi set a new benchmark for adaptive sports.
History was written at the Dubai Aquarium as Faisal Al Mosawi set a new benchmark for adaptive sports.

The UAE is home to a number of world records, so many in fact that it is a feat not to cross one - from the world’s tallest building to the fastest rollercoaster there’s barely a landmark, skyline or attraction that hasn’t mastered a superlative.

For this multiple Guinness World Record holder, however, it is the message behind his endeavours that is truly winning.

"This record is for every individual who refuses to be defined by limitations. Nothing is impossible,” said Faisal Al Mosawi after he defied the odds once again by becoming the world's fastest diver with an underwater wheelchair, adding to his collection of accolades since he was partly paralysed in a car accident.

Read more here.

See more of this week's most captivating photos

 

IMPACT ON INSTAGRAM

Fill your Instagram feed with stories about positive impact
Fill your Instagram feed with stories about positive impact
 

HIGHLIGHTS

'Remarkable' women of Gaza acknowledged at London Arabia awards
UAE opens 300 housing units in Syria for earthquake survivors
This Gaza factory is making cheap nappies for families in need
Updated: March 01, 2024, 11:26 AM
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