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UAE flies 100 COVID-19 frontline heroes to Makkah to perform Hajj

Annisa Essack |
26 June 2023 | 06:00 CAT

2 min read

Photo Credit: Saudi Gazette

The UAE has flown 100 healthcare workers crucial to the country’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic to Saudi Arabia to participate in Hajj.

The gesture was made in an effort to honour those who worked tirelessly on the front lines in the nation’s hospitals and clinics to respond to the unfolding public health crisis, which swept across the globe.

The trip was carried out under the directives of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, Ruler’s Representative in the Al Dhafra Region and chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent, the humanitarian arm of the government, state news agency Wam reported on Saturday.

The delegation from the Frontline Heroes Office left Abu Dhabi International Airport for Makkah on Saturday.

The office and ERC oversaw the charitable initiative in collaboration with the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments.

“In recognition of their efforts in defending society, the Hajj mission comprises 100 heroes who worked on the front lines in the health sector during the Covid-19 outbreak,” Wam reported.

The Frontline Heroes Office was established in July 2020, at a time when hundreds of Covid-19 infections were being recorded each day.

The Frontline Heroes Office aims to raise awareness of the key role played by frontline workers during crises and emergencies while also looking after their needs, addressing their priorities and drawing up strategies to support them.

In May 2020, President Sheikh Mohamed, then serving as Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, heaped praise on medics for leading the country’s response to the coronavirus.

“God bless you all. I would like to thank everyone in this [health] sector in person, but please send them all my regards,” he said.

“We are proud in front of the entire world of how we responded to this challenge. Today you are the UAE’s source of pride.”

In September 2021, The National reported that more than 1,800 children of frontline healthcare workers had received scholarships under the Hayyakum grant scheme, which gives them access to high-quality education in public schools across the UAE.

The initiative, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Frontline Heroes Office, sought to reduce the financial burden on families.

Up to two million pilgrims from across the world are travelling to Makkah and Madinah for the annual pilgrimage, which begins on Monday.

All Muslims able to do so are required to make the Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah at least once in their lifetime. Hajj and Islam’s other four pillars form a life foundation for Muslims.

The annual pilgrimage to the holiest city in Islam takes place during Dhu Al Hijja, the last month of the Islamic calendar.

The ritual literally translates as “to attend a journey” and denotes both the outward act of physically travelling and the inward act of a person’s contemplation of their faith.



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