Our leaders are our greatest blessing, says Emirati Haji
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan called them every day despite his packed schedule.
A few days ago, I met a friend to congratulate him for performing the Islamic pilgrimage of Haj. We were having a conversation about the magical atmosphere of the pilgrimage, when he paused and said: "Do you know that we, the people of the UAE, are truly blessed? Our leaders are our greatest blessing."
He insisted that he was saying it "because it was the truth". "What I saw was indescribable. I felt their care from the organisers of our Haj mission. Suppose you were to perform Haj with your little son, how much would you care about his safety? This is how much we were taken care of," he said.
It's almost as if pilgrims from the UAE were spoilt with all the love and care they received, he said. "Did you know that when it rained on the day of Arafa, we were the first pilgrims to be moved from the tents to buses to ensure our safety?"
"I really don't what to rate better: The hygiene standards or the extraordinary medical services provided by the team that travelled with us. A fellow pilgrim forgot his eye drops at home and they assured him that they would get it through an express courier service.
"The meals that were served to us were of a very high quality and we had many options to choose from."
Seeing the care they were receiving, an Arab national told them they were indeed blessed. "He told us that even if we kissed our leaders' hands to thank them, it won't be enough. He said he wished he got such attention because no one even knew or cared about them."
My friend said his Haj mission recommended that pilgrims arrive at the airport six hours before the flight in case of any emergencies. "One of our fellow pilgrims missed his flight. Our mission provided him and his wife accommodation till they were put on another flight the next day.
"We are genuinely blessed. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, called us every day despite his important and packed work schedule."
My friend fell silent after saying that a person who doesn't thank people doesn't thank God.
Thank God for the safety, security and love given to us by our leaders!
Dr Ali Galadari is a judge at the Dubai Court of Cassation.
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