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Colourful ceremony to mark Arab Women's Day in Abu Dhabi

posted on 02/02/2002: 1608 views

Dancing fountains, synchronised fireworks, women on horseback, rhythmic skytracker laser beams and the presence of leading Arab women personalities were the feature of a colourful ceremony held yesterday at Sheikh Zayed Pavilion on the Mussaffah Road to mark Arab Women's Day.

The ceremony, held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, wife of President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and Chairwoman of the UAE Women's Federation, was graced by leading Arab women personalities, among them Suzanne Mubarak, wife of the Egyptian President; Fatima Khaled, wife of the Sudanese President; Suha Arafat, wife of the Palestinian President; and Lalla Hassan, the sister of King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

Last night's function got under way with a burst of synchronised fireworks and choreographed music, after which four parachutists made a precision landing. Then followed a parade of women in various work fields. After that, ensued a procession of families. This, in turn, was followed by a parade of camels, reflecting the strong traditional roots.

Later, 22 women on horseback carried the flags of the Arab countries. Four huge inflatables also had the names of the Arab countries projected on them.

Arab men and women who distinguished themselves in special fields were awarded for their brilliance. The stage was designed to represent Arab domes. Leading Arab singers – Mohammed Abdo, of Saudi Arabia, Angham from Egypt and Ahlam from the UAE – entertained the crowd. Two giant screens measuring 10x12 m ensured that those far from the stage did not miss out on the entertainment.

The event was also an opportunity to spotlight three other happenings: the presentation of the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Award for the Ideal Arab Family, the opening of an exhibition on family products; and it was a curtain-raiser of sorts for the Arab Women's Media Forum which opens today at Hotel Inter-Continental. Leading women from 22 Arab states have arrived to attend the conference. The winners of the award had been announced earlier. The women's exhibition of handmade products, which was also opened at the event, consisted of handicrafts ornamented bags, bed linen, shoes and several items representing handmade craft.


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