Thiruvananthapuram, May 26: In keeping with the spirit of the ‘Year of Giving’, the President of the United Arab Emirates His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has gifted the people of Kerala a personally selected assortment of high-quality dates.
The dates – both the national fruit of the UAE and an integral symbol of Emirati heritage and identity – were presented by His Excellency Jamal Husein Rahma Al Zaabi, Consulate General of the UAE in Thiruvananthapuram and South India (Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu), to the Honourable Chief Minister of Kerala Shri Pinarayi Vijayan at his official chambers in the Secretariat here today.
The evening ceremony, which marked both the start of the Holy Month of Ramadan and the first anniversary of the Chief Minister’s taking office, saw the Consul-General and Shri Vijayan distribute some of the dates to a group of 30 differently-abled children and orphans.
Thanking the Chief Minister for his steady support, the Consul-General noted that the dates were entrusted to him so as to ensure their effective distribution to those who the wholesome and nutritious fruit would most benefit.
The Consul-General observed that the function was an occasion to mark the flowering of the long-standing bilateral relationship and the historic people-to-people links between the UAE and Kerala.
The first-of-its-kind function was held at the initiative of the Consul-General with the co-operation and support of the volunteer humanitarian organisation, Emirates Red Crescent Society. It also saw in attendance the Honourable Chief Secretary of Kerala Smt. Nalini Netto IAS as well as a number of high-level consular officials and dignitaries.
In December 2016, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan had declared 2017 as the Year of Giving – as inspired by the values of hospitality and generosity which lie at the heart of the UAE’s identity and the example of the country’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
That legacy of giving perseveres today in the policies established by UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. These policies provide a comprehensive framework for philanthropy through initiatives, strategies and programmes intended to celebrate the virtues of giving and cement philanthropy in the heart of the nation.
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