Sharjah Maritime Museum receives the ‘Spirit of the Union’

SHARJAH - The traditional sailing boat “Spirit of the Union” berthed at the Sharjah Maritime Museum yesterday.

By (WAM)

Published: Tue 29 Nov 2011, 7:57 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:40 AM

The boat was received by Sheikh Essam bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Office of the Ruler of Sharjah, accompanied by Sheikh Khalid bin Abdullah bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Department of Seaports and Customs, in presence of Ms Manal Ataya, Director General of the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) and a number of museum curators.

The Sharjah Museums Department organized a reception party for the boat’s 11 crew members, led by Brigadier General Mohammed Rashid Al Rumaithi, former coast guard chief. SMD also organized a number of national and heritage activities on the sidelines of the event, to which a number of students from Sharjah Education Zone were invited.

Activities started with the singing of the national anthem, followed by the welcome address. Other activities included a poetry recital by the poet ... And the performance of national and heritage songs, among others. Sharjah Maritime Museum also presented the boat’s captain with a gift as a token of appreciation and in recognition of his outstanding career.

In a statement on the occasion, Sheikh Essam Bin Saqr Al Qasimi said: “The 40th anniversary of the UAE National Day is the dearest, most memorable and meaningful occasion for us all. It is an opportunity to remember the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may his soul rest in peace) and the Sheikhs of the United Arab Emirates who have laid the foundation for the federation we celebrate today”.

He praised the innovative idea of sailing the boat to all seven emirates and commended the outstanding efforts of the boat’s captain over the past two years. He also stressed the importance of the heritage message conveyed during the boat’s voyage across the emirates.

Commenting on the occasion, Brigadier General Mohammed Rashid Al Rumaithi said: “Two years ago, I decided to contribute to the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the UAE National Day. Inspired by the legacy of my family’s profession in boat and ship building and fishery, and by my own education and profession as a graduate from the Egyptian Naval Academy and a former coast guard officer, my friends and I set out to build a traditional sailing boat, a task that took 18 months of labor to complete. We named the boat, aboard which we aimed to sail to the seven emirates to meet their highnesses, crown prices of the seven emirates, “Spirit of the Union”.

Manal Ataya was delighted to receive the sailing boat at the Sharjah Maritime Museum’s berth. She said: “The 40th UAE National Day is a great opportunity to celebrate our history, heritage and culture and to learn more about the achievements our nation has made”.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, launched “Spirit of the Union” from Fujairah International Marine Club on Sunday, November 27. The sailing boat’s final stop will be in Abu Dhabi on 2 December.

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