Early National Day celebration at Rashid Centre

Early National Day celebration at Rashid Centre
Art students and teachers at Rashid Centre for the Determined Ones celebrate National Day early

Dubai - 250 students at Rashid Centre for the Determined Ones prepared various events


Angel Tesorero

Published: Wed 22 Nov 2017, 7:34 PM

Last updated: Tue 28 Nov 2017, 6:29 PM

They wore the UAE colours proudly, waved the flags high, sang patriotic songs with gusto, showcased their talents and professed their love for the UAE.
People of determination in the country celebrated the National Day early on Wednesday and showed off their patriotic fervour.
Close to 250 students at Rashid Centre for the Determined Ones (formerly the Rashid Centre for Disabled) prepared various events - from displaying their organic produce from the school garden to exhibiting art pieces depicting UAE history, showcasing old nomadic life and a multimedia production of UAE national songs and dance.
Emirati Mariam Othman, co-founder and director of Rashid Centre, said they wanted to celebrate the National Day in advance to inspire everyone else celebrating on December 2.
The celebration started with a special performance by Hussain Shamshon Al Arab, 36, touted as the Emirati strongman, who pulled a four-tonne bus with his teeth. He likened his feat to the strength shown by people of determination in their daily lives.
A student at the cetnre, Abdul Redha, 22, said they are productive members of society. He is one of the dozen young men tending the organic garden at Rashid Centre, which gives a regular harvest of eggplants, mushrooms, tomatoes, herbs and other produce. "I earn some money and I'm proud of the opportunity given to me," he told Khaleej Times.
Indian national Dhireen Bhatia, 18, who was born and raised in the UAE, said he feels like a national. "I was born and raised here and I love this country. To show this, I made some of the decorations we used today, from the balloons to the buntings and the UAE flaglets," he said.
Bhatia's message on National Day: "Raise high the UAE flag."
American expat Bonnie Schaller, one of the guests at the event, bought one of the paintings and praised the students' work. "The choice of colours is amazing. Their non-verbal expression speaks volumes - they show joy and their appreciation for beauty is inspiring," she said.
Omar Khatab, 17, the painter of the work picked up by Schaller, thanked the UAE for giving him the opportunity to showcase his talents. Not just a good artist, he is also a member of Rashid Stars Group, the school's cultural ambassadors who have performed internationally in India, Malaysia and Egypt. "When we perform, we always give our best because we are representing the UAE," he said.
Art teacher Ritu Chaturvedi said the students were able to reach their potential because the country has always been the safest place to live. "We are thankful to the leadership for setting an example," she said.
Yemeni sisters Aliya Fikree, 26, and Ayma, 21, said they are also proud of the UAE landmarks like Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab, which are symbols of the country. They said they never felt different from anyone here and love all the places to visit, like the Dubai Mall where they can enjoy their favourite activity, ice skating, all year-round.

More news from UAE Holidays