Coronavirus Pandemic

You have a brother in me: Sheikh Mohamed tells families of fallen frontline heroes

Karen Ann Monsy /Abu Dhabi Filed on December 7, 2020
Video screengrab shows the frontline professionals who died as they battled the Covid-19 pandemic.

Video captures excerpts from the emotional phone calls the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince made.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has personally called up the families of frontline professionals who lost their lives as they battled the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Frontline Heroes Office has shared excerpts from the emotional phone calls the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince made.

“Good evening, ma’am. This is Mohamed bin Zayed speaking,” Sheikh Mohamed can be heard saying in the video, addressing Dr Varsha Washimkar, whose husband Dr Sudhir Washimkar worked at Burjeel Hospital Al Ain.

“It’s not just our duty, but also our responsibility to take care of you, to look after you, to speak to you…” he told her.

When a grateful Dr Varsha tells Sheikh Mohamed the call is an honour, the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince responded: “It is my honour, ma’am. Count me as a brother.”

Several family members could be seen overwhelmed by emotion or holding back tears during the calls.

Julius Concepcion, husband of Lezly Orine Ocampo, a nurse at Burjeel Homecare, could be seen choking up, as Sheikh Mohamed told him not to hesitate to ask for help. “It’s the minimum that we can give back for you."

The video was coupled with a montage of images honouring the memory of the frontline heroes — kitted out in PPE, on family outings or at graduation ceremonies with their child.

“May he rest in peace for what he did. This is the kind of men that we can never repay their deeds. We are giving you back the minimum by telling you that, you are our sister, our daughter, and this is your country and we are your family,” Sheikh Mohamed told another surviving member Rana Al Bunni, wife of Dr Bassam Bernieh, who worked at Mediclinic Al Ain Hospital. “You, your kids, and your family are my responsibility from now on. So, have no worries,” he added.

Mohamed Al Sabaei heard from Sheikh Mohamed how the UAE is “forever indebted” to those like his brother — Ahmed Al Sebaei, who worked as a senior medical laboratory technician at Mediclinic Al Ain Hospital. “You gave us the ultimate gift. Allow us to repay you in any way at any time. He’s like a son to us. You have a family now in the UAE and a brother called Mohamed bin Zayed… We are forever indebted to you.”


Karen Ann Monsy

A ‘Dubai child’, Karen has been writing for magazines for close to a decade. She covers trends, community, social issues and human interest features. Whether it’s overcoming disability, breaking stereotypes or simply relating the triumphs of everyday lives, she seeks out those stories that can uplift, encourage and inspire. You can find her favourite work at

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