To UAE, with love

Hanan Ghaith, a young Emirati who is the brains behind the animation video Dana & Click, speaks about dedicating a song 'My Sweet Homeland' to her country on the occasion of National Day. The video will be broadcast on several TV stations across the country

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Published: Sun 2 Dec 2007, 12:23 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:54 PM

'When we say 'I love U.A.E' it means a lot and as young nationals we have to prove it with devotion to our land, leaders and people,' says Hanan Ghaith

How did this whole project of My Sweet Homeland song and video start? What was the inspiration behind the song ?

Just to give a bit of background. The video features a character called Dana who is a smart, creative, and caring little girl. She takes care of Click who is a cheeky, charming and curious cat. Dana & Click were created 6 years back and they were on line as greeting cards and on line clips on my personal website

I have been writing kids poems for the past three years and all my team encouraged me to utilise one of these poems for an animated project and bring Dana to life. She is my little virtual daughter and all my family and friend call me' Um Dana' which mean Dana's Mother.

The members of my team believed that Dana should be introduced on air on a special day and we thought National Day would be the perfect opportunity for this.

Dana was featured in 2003 in a short animated movie which was dedicated to our late president Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and this was the starting point. The short movie can be seen on

I love photography as it my hobby. I had gone on a trip with my sister and after the trip we came back home and started editing the photos digitally and the words just came to my mind and I wrote the lyrics.

Have you always had an interest in animation?

Yes, ever since I was a kid. I used to record the titles of every single animation that I watched in my life in a note book and was collecting stickers and images of lots of cartoon characters, and singing their opening titles.

Even my clothes and decorations are full of cartoon images. I have a good taste in choosing and picking the best characters and stories specially with my team in e-junior channel.

What sort of training have you had in this?

I have attended lots of media courses in flash, graphics, photography, script writing, TV presenting, directing and producing TV ads.

How did you get in touch with your collaborators from Chile?

I have never met the team in person. When I joined my team in e-junior the Local Exclusive kids Channel on E-Vision, I found the animation part very interesting and started searching a lot on the net about this field.

I got in touch with a director and an animator called 'Alex Olea'' who is based in Chile. At that time I was working in E-Vision in the morning and doing my BA in the evening in the Higher Colleges of Technology and I requested Alex to teach me things related to this field and to help me in creating a touching movie for Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Alex was very supportive and that’s how we started our first project which was called 'From My Heart' and then was created officially on-line as a partner ship between me and Alex.

What were the challenges in making this video and creating the characters of Dana and Click?

Since most of the team are employees in different organisations and some of us are still students, time was the main challenge as well as the financial support.

Many organisations did not believe in our project or our ability and they underestimated the international production cost for animation.

What kind of support did you get from your employer?

E-Vision & Etisalat management have always backed me when I propose projects and they have also assisted me in improving my skills and knowledge in the field of media and production through courses whenever I have expressed interest.

What is the feedback from people who have seen the website and the video?

They are amazed and they loved Dana. Lots of mothers called me and asked me to produce more clips and to think of a series for the characters.

People from various sections of the media have liked and appreciated the work and they have given me lots of suggestions for future projects.

What is your message to other Emirati youngsters on the occasion of National Day?

When we say 'I love U.A.E' it means a lot and as young nationals we have to prove it with devotion to our land, leaders and people. We have to be strong, face the challenges and the new world with education, wisdom and creativity.

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