Over 150 students participated in a march Friday afternoon as part of the Abu Dhabi National Campaign for Social Cohesion under the slogan Building a Family…Building a Nation held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Zayed Al Nahyan and organized by the Al Tawasel Center for Training and Cosultancy. The march was organized for the children and youth of the UAE including those with special needs in support of the goals of the campaign and raise awareness of its aims.
The march started off at the Hilton Hotel in Abu Dhabi and continued till Marina Mall with children waving the UAE flags as they marched. As the parade reached Marina Mall, the center gave prizes to the first children to cross the finish line and honoured the special needs marchers with special trophies.
Dr. Fatima Al Rashidi, Director-General of the Campaign and Chairman of the Al Tawasel Center for Training and Consultancy, said the march was organized as part of the campaign events to raise awareness of institutions and individuals with special needs and activate their role in society. Said Fatima, “The march came as a call to citizens and residents of the UAE into social cohesion and deepen the sense of responsibility to married couples towards family and children. The management of the campaign has received a lot of welcome and support from several arenas including the Abu Dhabi Police, the Abu Dhabi Center for those with Special Needs and the Department of the UAE Educational Zone.”
After the walk the second day of the Jawaher program began at Marina Mall with three speakers offering advice to Arab families suggesting solutions to their problems. Speaking on Friday were Taleb Al Shehi, Head of the Awareness Department in the Islamic Affairs Authority, Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Naimi, CEO of a charitable organization and football star Fahed Masaoud.
In the lecture that took place, Dr. Shehi referred to the sanctity of the Arab family since ancient times with families worshipping God and taking responsibility on both sides of the marital relationship. Dr. Shehi added that there are many situations that occur between couples during their marriage that may cause instant negative reactions and couples need to close the door to these discussions in order not to throw doubt on themselves.
Next to speak was Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Ali Al Naimi who spoke of the conditions that must be outlined between spouses before marriage as an element of equality between them. Spouses, he says, should agree in terms of material and social status, education and nurture self-understanding on both sides as well as deciding on the period of engagement between them in order to smooth out all the wrinkles that might be in the relationship.
Dr. Al Naimi continued on to discuss the challenges facing new families such as lying between couples, the continued inability to contain the anger of one of the parties and the physical need to find a balance between work and home.
In addition to events in Abu Dhabi, many events were held in Al Ain in support of the Abu Dhabi National Campaign for Social Cohesion including concerts and contests at the Al Ain Mall. A session on family problems was also organized with Dr. Ammar Ibrahim Hassan, a family relations consultant, Dr. Sharif Shukran, expert on family problems and director Hussein Ibrahim.
Dr. Ibrahim Hassan Ammar spoke of the reasons for the stability of family life with Islamic and Arab values as the basic reference for couples to provide stability in married life and for their children. Dr. Sharif Shukran reiterated the need for couples to turn to religion when in need, pointing to the importance of mediation and moderation when dealing with spouses. Ibrahim Hussein took a different route to Dr. Ammar and Dr. Shukram, speaking of the role of drama and its impact on family upbringing, stressing the important role in plays in the lives of Arab families.
The Abu Dhabi National Campaign for Social Cohesion 2009 aims to build a community that cherishes the value of maintaining family stability, reduce the incidence of divorce and family disintegration, educate newly married couples to meet the challenges affecting marital stability and give couples the skills to solve marital conflicts. One of the main aims of the campaign is to guide couples through the dissemination of programs to increase awareness of, cultural, social and family for all groups of society.
The campaign is sponsored by many governmental and private organizations including Abu Dhabi Police, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, Abu Dhabi Municipality, Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, Pyramedia, Al Jawda Association and many other supporting and media sponsors.
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