Look: Sheikh Mohammed pens heartwarming postcard for survivors of Turkey-Syria quake; photo goes viral

Accompanied by Sheikh Hamdan and Sheikh Maktoum, the Dubai Ruler visited the Dubai World Trade Centre were around 2,000 people gathered to pack 15,000 boxes of aid


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Mon 13 Mar 2023, 4:31 PM

Last updated: Tue 14 Mar 2023, 7:45 AM

Volunteers at the Dubai World Trade Centre packing relief supplies for earthquake-ravaged Turkey and Syria couldn’t contain their excitement when some very prominent and helpful guests visited them. On Monday, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai was accompanied by young royals along with Sheikh Hamdan and Sheikh Maktoum.

Around 2,000 volunteers gathered at the Arena Hall to pack 15,000 boxes of aid for the quake-ravaged countries on Monday and received encouragement from the highest quarters when children of the royal family rolled up their sleeves and started packing relief supplies with them.

Photos: HH Sheikh Mohammed/Twitter
Photos: HH Sheikh Mohammed/Twitter

As a show of support to the victims of the disastrous quake that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6, Sheikh Mohammed also signed a postcard in which he expressed his support for the people and urged them to stay positive.

“We are with you, and we will always be by your side. You have all our support. Don't let go of hope...", read the handwritten postcard that has gone viral on the internet.

Sheikh Mohammed praised the community’s efforts to send relief to the people of Syria and Turkey, and the quick response of volunteers to the UAE’s call to help those affected by February’s earthquake.

He said, "Today, I visited the Bridges of Giving campaign launched to help Syria-Türkiye quake victims… The UAE is always keen to extend a helping hand to people in need, consolidating human fraternity and solidarity. The goal is to send a message of hope and solidarity to all our brothers and sisters in Syria and Turkiye."

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, was also seen participating and packing food boxes.

The royal family's children keenly observed the workflow and soon got down to business. They helped to pack relief supplies, putting various items in boxes alongside the volunteers.

Indian expat and volunteer Sajna Abdulla said, “I got goosebumps on seeing Sheikh Mohammed walk in. Seeing him for the first time in person and that too so closely was just unbelievable. The Dubai Ruler walked through all eight to nine tables overseeing the arrangements, and it was very encouraging for all of us. We were thrilled and couldn’t keep our phones down - recording videos and taking his photos and the other royals.”

Filipino volunteer Monica Tan said, “I was overwhelmed to see the Ruler of Dubai, the Crown Prince and the little royals. Sheikh Mohammed is like a true father. It’s a privilege to be a part of this campaign, and with them around, this experience becomes truly memorable for everyone. I love the UAE and know that this country loves to reach out to others in need and extend help. I have been working as a volunteer for five years now in various initiatives. This experience is priceless. I am really grateful to be a part of ‘Bridges of Giving’.”

Dubai resident Roi Gabriel said, “Oh my God! I was stunned to see Sheikh Mohammed in front of me. Everything felt surreal. These are the true leaders who inspire people by being on the ground, encouraging and motivating us at every juncture. I felt honoured to join the ‘Bridges of Giving’ campaign."

Joude Absi, Syrian Volunteer, said, "We are all one hand spreading this message of tolerance, kindness and goodness, everything that represents humanity. The UAE is always at the forefront of providing relief and aid to people irrespective of race, colour and nationality. I represent both sides as I am Syrian."

She added, "I am a part of the hand that's 'giving' as I am part of the UAE campaign, and I also represent the hand that 'takes' the help, as I have friends and relatives back home and understandably, I feel very strongly for the cause. I am packing 'kindness', 'humanity' and needless to say, foods, clothes and other essential supplies, she says smilingly."

Ugandan national Maridah Nakiwala, who works as a waitress, said, "it feels so good to participate in this initiative. I can't travel to these countries, but at least I am helping in these efforts in a small way. I am honoured to join the 'Bridge of Giving'. I am packing things for the children here: jackets, dolls, and other things they need. I know people in Syria and Turkey need help and care, and this humanitarian initiative is amazing."

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives in collaboration with the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), and other 16 partnering UAE humanitarian and charitable organisations had called for participation in the "Bridges of Giving" campaign to assist in gathering and assembling relief supplies that will be sent for people in Turkey and Syria who were adversely impacted by the natural calamity.

Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet and Secretary-General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Initiatives (MBRGI) said, “The campaign is an expansion of the UAE’s efforts to institutionalise humanitarian aid, help vulnerable communities around the world, and establish the values of tolerance, respect and human fraternity.

"Around 2,000 volunteers including students, employees and influencers joined hands with us today and succeeded in packing around 15,000 aid parcels to help those affected in Syria and Turkey.”

Dr Hamdan Musallam Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) said that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s visit to the campaign facility represents the leadership’s support for humanitarian workers and volunteers. “It consolidates the UAE's efforts to show solidarity and respond rapidly to support those in need around the world.”

On March 5, the UAE President paid visit to the thousands of volunteers packing relief supplies for earthquake victims. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited the Mubadala Arena in Abu Dhabi, where hundreds of volunteers were packing essentials for the earthquake victims.


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