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Emirati youth to help refugees learn jiu-jitsu

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi Filed on August 1, 2019 | Last updated on August 1, 2019 at 11.03 pm
Emirati youth to help refugees learn jiu-jitsu


Students were shortlisted from more than 80,000 participants in jiu-jitsu school training programmes across the UAE.

The UAE is taking another step to ease the suffering of Syrian refugees. This time, it's not the usual aid: Student volunteers will be introducing jiu-jitsu to the children at Mrajeeb Al Fhood refugee camp in Jordan.

For the first time, 30 Emirati students will be offering support to Syrian refugee kids at the camp run by Emirates Red Crescent.

Fahad Abdulrahman bin Sultan, deputy secretary-general for international aid at Emirates Red Crescent, said the initiative was a 'new step' to provide better life to refugees.

"This will help enhance confidence level and help the children develop skills. This will help them tide over the physiological and physical scars brought about by the crisis. The children will learn skills like self-defence, personality development and endurance."

The students were shortlisted from more than 80,000 participants in jiu-jitsu school training programmes across the UAE.

Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, vice-chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, said the camp would see Emirati students bring smiles to the faces of their 'brothers and sisters'.

"This is the first-of-its-kind training camp in the world. This is our first step out of the UAE borders. This upholds the Emirati identity of helping and standing by those in need. Those children are passing through difficult stages and will develop values of self-discipline and healthy lifestyle. This is a strong ground to build a strong future for them," Al Dhaheri said.

With this initiative, Emirati student volunteers are also bound to gain life skills and experience a part of the situation in the region.

Fouad Darwish, general manager of Palm Sports, provider for sports training programmes, said the convergence of various cultures at the camp will hold Emirati students in good stead.

"This will help students widen their scope of thinking. This is also a boost for jiu-jitsu and its message to the world," Darwish said.

Panagiotis Theodoropoulos of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation said the camp was entering the second stage from Tuesday till August 8. "This initiative is a message to the world to avoid violence," he added.

Ashwani Kumar

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