From living in fear to receiving flowers: Injured Gaza children find safety in UAE

More flights to land in the coming days as the Emirates strives for the safety and well-being of Palestinians, who form 40 per cent of total causalities


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Mon 20 Nov 2023, 5:13 PM

Last updated: Tue 21 Nov 2023, 12:09 PM

One-and-a-half-year-old Palestinian boy, Fati Ala, who suffered burn injuries during the Gaza war, now peacefully sleeps snuggled next to a teddy bear doll at a private hospital in Abu Dhabi. No longer waking up to the deafening sounds of Israeli bombardment, Fati Ala is on the path to recovery, and a semblance of normalcy is gradually returning to his life.

The toddler, his mother, and a few Palestinians, caught in the crossfire of ongoing war, were part of the first evacuation flight to Abu Dhabi from Egypt’s El Arish. And more flights will land in the coming days as the UAE strives to go the extra mile for the safety and well-being of Gaza children – who, the UN estimates, form 40 per cent of the total 13,000 fatalities in the conflict.

Once these children were transported from conflict zones and landed in Abu Dhabi, they were at ease by the warm welcome they received. The team at the airport comforted the children with parental care and compassion, which was a stark contrast to the devastation and loss of lives suffered by them. The children found bouquets instead of hurled bombs - a comforting touch, a hug, a reassurance that they were safe.

“This is the first of many flights. We will be bringing more injured children and women here,” an official said while welcoming the patients at the airport as they were transferred to hospitals for treatment.

There were several heartwarming scenes captured by Khaleej Times as patients were received by officials at the Abu Dhabi International Airport.

In a moving gesture, an Emirati official stretched out his ghutra, the traditional headdress, to protect a young patient from sun as the toddler was moved from the flight to the ambulance. See the picture below:

Another official, after greeting and enquiring about the health of an injured girl, planted a caring kiss on the head.

A couple of officials assisted a child while his wheelchair-bound injured mother was being transferred to the ambulance. In a matter of seconds, the Emirati officials engaged in friendly conversation, brought a smile to the boy's face.

And once at the hospital, UAE royal paid them a visit. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan met with injured children, adult family members, as well as child cancer patients from Palestine.

All of them are receiving treatment in the Emirates under the orders of the President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to treat 1,000 Palestinian children at UAE healthcare facilities. Sheikh Mohamed has also directed officials to fly in 1,000 Palestinian cancer patients so they can get treatment in UAE hospitals.

All these initiatives come as part of the UAE's humanitarian efforts to help alleviate the suffering of Palestinians caught in war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.


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