"No matter how many buildings, foundations, schools and hospitals we build, or how many bridges we raise, all these are material entities. The real spirit behind the progress is the human spirit, the able man with his intellect and capabilities can protect these foundations and who can progress and develop with them" (Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan - 1973)
With these significant words the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (May God rest his Soul) outlined the path of benevolence for the UAE people, as trodden by Their Highnesses the Members of the Supreme Council and Rulers of the Emirates. From this path, the tree of bestowal has sprouted buds of charity and humanitarianism. These sources of inspiration have paved the way for the formation of altruistic charities. The establishment of such institutions provide the perfect illustration of how "the UAE government and people have given a lot to charitable and relief work to save those plagued with natural disasters, catastrophes, and calamities all over the world by alleviating the suffering of the people."
His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was undoubtedly among a minority of the world’s leaders who have strived to instill higher human values in people such as those associated with philanthropy, peace and love. Sheikh Zayed reached out to the distressed and the disadvantaged all over the world; giving graciously and free of discrimination of any kind such as race, color or creed. He used to generously build schools, mosques, hospitals, and cities and made the United Arab Emirates a distinguished model in terms of coexistence among different religions, traditions and nationalities. By the grace of God Almighty, the nondiscriminatory, compassionate approach of His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan has been strongly adhered to by His Highness Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE (may God bless him), His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of UAE, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai (may God preserve him), and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, (may God protect him). These distinguished leaders have all stressed that charitable work should be nondiscriminatory. Sheikh Zayed also spoke of how anyone in need is entitled to assistance by those who are capable and knowledgeable.
Each of the prestigious individuals listed above have all followed the example set by His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan thereby acknowledging his remarkable feats. Accordingly, this testifies to the fact that the lessons learnt from the charitable deeds of Sheikh Zayed have been so instilled into the souls of the UAE people and government alike that they have become second nature to them. That's how they, the people, have also followed in the footsteps of their forefathers by extending a helping hand to those less fortunate.
Institutions such as Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, and Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment have fueled the rise of charitable work emanating from the UAE, not to mention dozens of other charitable establishments allocated across the country.
All of the aforementioned establishments and societies are focused on expanding their charitable work as broadly as possible. In the field of education, these entities have looked to build and offer support to schools, higher education institutes, scientific research centers, libraries and vocational training institutions; in addition to facilitating the provision of scholarships and scientific fellowships, and encouraging work dedicated to writing, translation, and publishing. In the health sector, these establishments have also built and offered their support to hospitals, health centers, health rehabilitation centers, medical relief societies, orphanages, child care centers, homes for the elderly, and centers for people with special needs.
These establishments have played a central role in relief work, lending a helping hand to areas that have been stricken with natural and social disasters, such as: famines, earth quakes, floods, hurricanes and draught. They have also bolstered research and efforts attempting to monitor the likelihood of these disasters in view of helping people take precautionary measure against such destructive scenarios.
Other fields of charity work include the following:
We could safely say that the many societies that have to do with health issues are too many to count. The most recent of these is the Cancer Patient Care Society (Rahma) which was established based on the recommendation of The Executive Council, Government of Abu Dhabi issued on September 15, 2015. The first event held by the Cancer Patient Care Society was staged in the Yas Marina Circuit on November 07, 2015.
The Cancer Patient Care Society chose as its Chairman His Excellency Dr. Jamal Sanad Al Suwaidi, the Director General of the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research. Needless to say that Dr. Al Suwaidi is well-known for his keenness on charity work in all spheres. This is evidenced by his participation every year in the events of Zayed Charity Marathon held in New York, the press and media statements, and the televised interviews. Earlier, the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research published a book entitled Charity and Humanitarian Work in the United Arab Emirates which took the form of a field study of charity workers and volunteers in charitable establishments. This book is hard evidence that the philosophy of humanitarian work is deeply rooted in the UAE community.