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UAE rallies to support families of fallen Emirati soldiers

ABU DHABI // As Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed continued to meet the families of the 45 servicemen who were killed in Yemen one week ago, charitable organisations and leaders have offered to provide support to their families.

Sheikh Mohammed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, met bereaved families in Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah. And, in the capital, Sheikh Rashid bin Saud, Crown Prince of Umm Al Quwain, visited some of the injured men at Zayed Military Hospital.

Offering support in other ways, the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development and Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Foundation have initiated programmes in memory of the men.

Jassim Al Nowais, chairman of Khalifa Fund, announced the launch of the Awnak programme, which will help the families to have a sustainable source of income and comfortable standard of living.

The fund will give the families access to financial facilities and interest-free loans up to Dh1 million.

“The fund exempts the beneficiaries of this programme from the payment contribution, which is applied to all other programmes within Khalifa Fund,” he said.

“This exceptional privilege comes in the framework of encouraging martyrs’ families to apply for funding and obtaining the required financial facilities.”

The Awnak programme was “a reflection of the keenness” of Sheikh Mohammed to provide all forms of care to all segments to achieve society welfare”, said Mr Al Nowais.

“The programme includes lots of privileges and exceptional facilities for the martyrs’ families, who are a top priority for our leaders.”

The families of the soldiers will be exempt from repayment for the first two or three years and be given a loan repayment period of 10 years, Mr Al Nowais said.

Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid, Ruler of Ajman, has given property and lands to relatives of the fallen soldiers from his emirate.

He ordered the completion of a house for the family of one of the victims, Abdullah Ali Hassan Al Hammadi, and granted a house to the heirs of Sultan Obaid Al Kaabi.

Sheikh Humaid also ordered commercial land to be granted for the brothers of Obaid Saeed Sheikhan Al Kalbani and heirs of Sultan Obaid Al Kaabi.

On Thursday, Sheikh Humaid visited soldiers injured in Yemen. Accompanied by Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid, Crown Prince of Ajman, and other dignitaries, he wished the servicemen a speedy recovery and paid tribute to their nationalism and courage.

The injured soldiers pledged their allegiance to the UAE, said their morale was high and that they were looking forward to rejoining their comrades in the Arab coalition, state news agency Wam reported.

The Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Foundation will offer funding for family members who wish to complete Umrah pilgrimage in memory of their loved ones. Applicants can email [email protected].

Khalaf Al Habtoor, chairman of the fund, said this was only one of the initiatives for the families.

He said the deaths were “a terrible loss for our country. I am proud of the sacrifice that our noble martyrs made for their homeland”.

“May their souls, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. It is our duty to give back to the families and children of the martyrs.”

He quoted the Prophet Mohammed, who said: “Whosoever equipped a fighter in the path of Allah, and the one who looked after a fighter’s family behind, verily he participated in jihad.”

The Canadian University Dubai paid its condolences to the servicemen with a lecture on the status of martyrs in Islam and society.

Dar Al Ber Society was another organisation to pay its respects.

Meanwhile, the office of martyrs’ families’ affairs has urged institutions and individuals wanting to assist the victim families to coordinate with the office through an email ([email protected]) before launching any initiative.

[email protected]

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(via The National)