Sammaliyah Camp 2006 lures 2,000 participants

ABU DHABI — Hundreds of people gathered at the Emirates Heritage Club (EHC) on Thursday evening to celebrate the ending of Al Sammaliyah Summer Camp 2006.


Silvia Radan

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Published: Sat 9 Sep 2006, 9:59 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:20 PM

In the honour of their patron, Shaikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and President of the EHC, the children and their instructors put up impressive demonstrations of what they’ve learnt on Sammaliyah Island during the past three months.

In return, the Shaikh gave away prizes to all the winners who participated in heritage, sports and scientific competitions in the summer camp. Along with the gifts, they received medals from Khamis Rashid Al Rumaithi, Head of Board of Directors at EHC and Chairman of Higher Committee of Sammaliyah Camp. Ateeq bin Qanon Al Falasi, the manager of EHC, also attended the ceremony. This year, the organisers managed to attract 2,000 local boys and girls to take part in various activities on Al Sammaliyah. Although the emphasis was on traditions and heritage of the Gulf in general and the UAE in particular, the young students also took part in modern sports and scientific projects, such as fencing, karate, modern sailing or bee keeping.

For the first time this year, there were traditional games like Hillah, Karabi, Zaboot or Shoubair, so the children could learn even to play like their grandfathers did. Other traditional courses included the Arabic coffee — how to make it and serve it — or fishing equipment and requirements, falconry and Al Youlah (traditional dances with guns).

Abdul Aziz Al Hamadi has been practising fencing at EHC for six years now and he goes to Al Sammaliyah every year. “I both practise and teach fencing over there. I had good experiences every summer, but this year it was the best because the facilities were much improved,” he told Khaleej Times.

Sabah, Fatma, Nema and Amel are four sisters from Abu Dhabi who went to Al Sammaliyah Summer Camp for the first time this year. They all said they had a great time and would love to go back next year. “We all practiced riding horses, which was great. My sisters tried riding the camel as well, but I was too scared. Now I have to go back to school, but I much rather spend every day on the island,” said 13 years old Amel, the oldest of the sisters.

The closing ceremony for the Sammaliyah Camp also gave Shaikh Sultan the chance to visit for the first time the premises of the Heritage Club, which offers facilities for practicing all kinds of sports, arts and crafts. “Children hear about these traditions and customs from their family, but on Sammaliyah they can actually practise them, which give them a deeper sense of belonging,” explained Shaikh Sultan.

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