Professor Aisha Mohammed Al Mehias Al Ali, Chief of the Community Services Section, the Foreign Affairs Department, at the Diwan of His Highness the Ruler of Dubai, hosted a Ramadan Council under the theme United in Responsibility “UAE between Modernization and Heritage”. The Council was attended by Sheikha Mira Saqr Al Qasimi; Sheikha Mariam Saqr Al Qasimi; Dr. Nada Al Marzouqi; Professor Maryam Kildari; Sharifa Al Mehyas; Halima Al Mullah; Aisha Saif; Fatima Al Mehyas; Mariam Salem, and a large number of Emirati women.

The council was held in Sharjah, as part of the Ministry of Interior’s initiative, represented by the Law Respect Culture Bureau, at the General Secretariat of the Office of H.H Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Interior. The participants tackled the topic of UAE heritage and the challenges of preserving the national heritage that face the community.

The council that was moderated by journalist and writer Aisha Sultan, called upon the Ministry of Education to establish a curriculum in schools at the countrywide level and across all academic stages to infuse heritage and national identity into the future Emirati generations and approve a university specialization about the Emirati heritage.

The participants stressed the need for specialized channels targeting the youth, and dealing with all aspects of the UAE heritage. They also called for revising laws pertaining to women’s role, their work, maternity leaves and nursing breaks, because the family was the first entity to be affected by modernity, progress and globalization. Moreover, they called for making Emirati heritage artifacts and product into an Emirati industry under local supervision and presenting the Emirati heritage to tourists in a proper manner. The council also recommended strengthening the role of the family in preserving the Emirati heritage; using modern technology and communication technology to promote the Emirati heritage; enforcing decency laws at the countrywide level and requiring visitors to respect the UAE laws in order to preserve the heritage and Islamic identity.

Furthermore, the council called for strengthening the role of education both within the family and in schools, by instilling the basic principles calling for maintaining the national identity in children, in light of the overall modernization witnessed by the country. “The UAE is home to more than 206 nationalities from around the world,” added the participants.

The participants also inquired about the means to protect children from the dangers posed by easy access to modern communication technology. They also raised the issue of demographic imbalance both culturally and intellectually, as well as its implications on modernization and heritage in the Emirati community.

Participants agreed that the UAE is almost the only Arab country that enjoys security and safety, ultimately attracting different cultures.

For her part, Aisha Sultan noted that the UAE suffers from a deep demographic imbalance, which is not only affecting customs, traditions and the way of thinking, but also has serious security implications. “In light of this fact, the UAE needs to address the demographic imbalance security challenges, which represent a greater challenge than other issues related to demographic imbalance,” explained Mrs. Sultan.

Moreover, the participants praised the Ministry of Interior’s initiative in organizing Ramadan councils that help to strengthen community ties and encourage the exchange of experiences about the concerns of the Emirati family and ways to preserve the Islamic and Arabic values, customs and traditions and the Emirati national identity, in light of the accelerated developments and changes that the world is witnessing.

Aisha Mohammed Al Mehyas Al Ali hosted the Ramadan Council in her office in Al Darari region in Sharjah. Mrs. Al Ali commended the efforts of the Ministry of Interior, represented by the Law Respect Culture Bureau, to pursue such purposeful ideas aimed at spreading friendly and warm Ramadan atmosphere in councils that gathers parents and local professionals in brainstorming sessions and constructive and positive dialogue to boost knowledge.

Journalist and writer Aisha Sultan noted that the Ministry of Interior’s initiative to organize Ramadan councils is an ambitious measure aimed at promoting the dialogue within society. “The Law Respect Culture Bureau has provided society with a tradition that goes beyond the conventional approach of addressing Emirati issues. It also strives to promote dialogue between Emirati citizens on matters of interest to them with a new concept and with more freedom,” added Mrs. Sultan.

In conclusion, she said: “The Ramadan councils have been a success for the second consecutive year. They reflect the willingness of the UAE citizens to interact and communicate, as well as their keenness to take part in such councils”.

Journalist Halima Al Mulla, from “Marami” magazine issued by the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, noted that the Ramadan Councils organized by the Ministry of Interior strive for the second consecutive year to promote awareness and educate the community members in all fields.

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