Royals, officials and representatives of UAE organisations were honoured on Wednesday evening for their humanitarian contributions.
Ninety-five individuals and organisations that contributed to projects run by the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation were presented with trophies by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed, Chairman of the Crown Prince Court – Abu Dhabi.
The ceremony at Emirates Palace was held to mark the Zayed Humanitarian Work Day, which falls on the 19th day of Ramadan and is dedicated to the memory of the UAE’s late Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed (May God bless his soul).
During the event, a short film showed a sample of the foundation’s projects, such a personalised cancer care centre in Houston and a hospital in the capital of the Comoros Islands.
In Kazakhstan, the foundation built an indoor mosque for worshippers who previously had to perform Friday prayers in the snow during winter.
The foundation’s Al Taqwa Mosque in Granada, Spain, built after a request from Muslim residents in the city, led dozens to convert to Islam, said Dr Hessa Al Otaiba, the UAE Ambassador to the country.
Among those honoured were media outlets, including Abu Dhabi Media, which publishes The National, as well as Al Etihad newspaper and Abu Dhabi FM radio station.
The foundation funds projects in health and education and also helps local families. Tadweer, the Abu Dhabi Centre for Waste Management, was honoured for donating money towards the Khalifa Foundation’s iftar meals project.
“This is the first year we participate with them, and we will continue,” said Mohammed Al Qubaisi, Tadweer’s head of communication.
The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development contributed to the foundation’s project to support families with limited incomes, said Fatima Al Balooshi, the fund’s head of communications.
“We always look for development programmes that have sustainability to support them,” she said.
Oasis Hospital will conduct operations in Yemen starting at the end of August as part of a foundation project.
“We were looking for ways that we can be helpful to society,” said Trey Hulsey, the president of the hospital, which was built by Christian missionaries at the invitation of Sheikh Zayed.
“Those are our roots as a hospital and today we think about how we can benefit the people around us,” Mr Hulsey said.
Hospital staff first went to Yemen in 2011 to carry out a charitable project that involved performing orthopaedic and paediatric operations for patients in need. However, they were forced to leave when the uprising started that year.
With the Khalifa Foundation’s support, the hospital returned to Yemen in May last year to consider launching the initiative again.
“Last year, we got the word that things are OK enough and that we could try,” said Mr Hulsey.
“I think as long as we are able to be there, we can do surgeries every day,” he said.
The hospital will start the initiative in Aden, as per the suggestion of the UAE Government.
The Khalifa Foundation was established in July 2007 to carry out health and education projects nationally and internationally.