Culture of Donation in the Emirati Community

  • 16 July 2014

The overwhelming success and rapid response from citizens, residents, and civil society institutions as well as public and private sectors, toward the Suqia initiative have not come as a surprise to any of us. People from all walks of life have responded positively to the call – under the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him) and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai (may God bless him) – to provide fresh and clean water to more than five million people around the world who do not have access to it.

This speaks volumes of the UAE’s policies and the relationship that exists between the country’s wise leadership and its loyal people. Implementation of sustainable humanitarian projects is always a race against time. Yet, it took merely 18 days to reach, and even exceed, the target of funds needed to implement the Suqia campaign. According to the organizing committee, the target of providing potable water for five million people has been reached, especially in the developing countries. Donations pledged till Tuesday reached a sum of AED180 million, which can ensure provision of water to over seven million people, 140 percent of the set target.

The salient feature of this humanitarian initiative and the rush of nationals and residents to contribute toward its success in record time demonstrate that the culture of donation remains dear to this nation and that the spirit of Islam lives on. These values are based on good deeds, solidarity and support for human beings regardless of their race, religion, language, gender or color. Indeed there is nothing more painful than the death of a child every 21 seconds because of ailments related to water and the death of 9,863 people every day because of thirst or water-borne diseases.

The people and wise leadership of the UAE are guided by their faith. It brings a message of charity and help for siblings and friends and calls for cooperation, peace, renouncing violence and extremism. This message is not only for our own people but for those around the world and for humanity. It is not confined to the holy month of Ramadan. We have inherited these principles and have grown up on them. We remain a tolerant model of our faith, our ancient Arab civilization and its rich cultural heritage, which teaches compassion toward all mankind.