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UN Goodwill Ambassador reward for UAE volunteer

posted on 12/10/2015: 1758 views

For Hamad Al Kaabi, becoming a Goodwill Ambassador by the Economic and Social Council of the UN was the culmination of years of work for the Emirates Red Crescent.

Mr Al Kaabi worked as a photographer and volunteer with the aid organisation for five years, an experience he found hugely rewarding.

"I hope this [honorary title] will affect other youth, when they see someone their age has been able to get the ambassador title, to motivate them and to make them feel capable,” he said.

"Nothing is impossible for the UAE youth.”

He also hoped his award would allow him to raise awareness of the crises in the region.

His work with the ERC has taken him into many dangerous situations, including Gaza during last year's Israeli attack.

"We were under the bombing at the time of the conflict, right under the shelling,” he said.

"Yet our team continued to build a field hospital.

"I took the pictures of the humanitarian crises right through the war.”

He recalled being in Sudan during the floods of 2013.

"We were travelling from Khartoum to Kassala – a town that was greatly harmed by the floods of the valley, their houses were destroyed,” he said.

"When we reached there, we got the pictures that showed that the UAE had reached these areas that others could not.”

The recognition of his work by the UN came as a great shock, said Mr Kaabi.

"I was dreaming and didn't expect it, honestly,” he said.

"The memories passed through my mind and I remember when I was in the hard situations and how I would rush to post the images of all kinds, the sad and the happy.

"I felt that today, it was time to reap what I had sowed.

"It was time to realise my dream.”

Mr Al Kaabi's message to the people of the country was to continue to follow the example of Sheikh Zayed, Founding President.

"Sheikh Zayed raised us to stand by the weak and today we can, thank God, help those in need,” he said. – The National -


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