The participants at the Ramadan Council organized by the Law Respect Culture Bureau at the General Secretariat of the Office of H.H Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Interior and hosted by Dr. Suleiman Moussa Al Jassem, former President of Zayed University, stressed the importance of utilizing the old experiences in military recruitment, and reconsider the period of National Service. The participants discussed the possibilities of reducing the National Service from nine months to six months in order to avoid any negative effects on the future of high school graduates. They also suggested including the National Service curriculum within the educational system, in addition to establish supervisory units that monitor food in schools, and focus on sport activities in order to prepare a healthy and a disease free society.

During the Council that was held under the title “United in Destiny: National Service Honor” and moderated by media personality Ahmed Al Yammahi, the participants called for including special educational subjects that study the dangers and crisis emerging as a result of the political, economic, and social changes within the educational curricula. They also called for unifying the military education curricula on a nation-wide basis in order to guarantee proper achievement of the strategic goals of the National Service, in addiction to activating the role of the religious aspect to stress the importance of protecting the UAE and defending it; a responsibility to be taken by the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments.

They affirmed the importance of highlighting the role of the media in spreading the culture of loyalty towards the country through the national service. They also discussed the possibility of establishing a Higher Media Committee to support the project, and form a media committee for the sons of the country to cover the news of national service.

The participants called for establishing organizational units in the Ministry of Education, educational zones and councils throughout the UAE. The units should be specialized with food health, spreading health culture and healthy nutrition and activating the role of existing concerned entities with the aim of creating healthy generations that enjoy high levels of fitness and are able to serve themselves and their country. They also called for benefitting from excelled nationals competencies that have vast experiences in their professional work field, and to involve them according to their specializations in training and academic programs, implemented by the entity in line with the national service project.

The council was attended by: Ahmed Abdullah Al Matrooshi, Director of West Asian Affairs Department at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Colonel Staff Obeid Rashid Al Zahmi, from the National and Reserve Service Authority in the Armed Forces; Colonel Mohammed Rashid Bin Naya, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Al Fujairah Police; Colonel Waleed Al Shamsi, Director of Police Schools Department, Member of the Special Committee on the National and Reserves Service Project for the Ministry of Interior Recruits; Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Salah Obeid Al Ghoul, Director of Law Respect Culture Bureau, the General Secretariat of the Office of H.H Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; Adnan Hamad Al Hamadi, Deputy Chairman of the Sharjah Consultative Council; Dr. Yusuf Abdul Ghaffar Al Shareef, a Lawyer and Legal Consultative; Lieutenant Ali Surror Al Zaabi from the National and Reserve Service Authority in the Armed Forces; and Legal Researcher Muath Obeid Khamis from the National and Reserve Service Authority in the Armed Forces .
The council was also attended by Muhammad Ahmed Al Mahmoud, Ambassador in the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Muhammad bin Hindi, Former Chairman of the Sharjah Consultative Council; Abdul Aziz Bu Hindi, Manager of General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare in the Eastern Region; Saif Al Shara Undersecretary of Ministry of Environment and Water; Hamad Salem Al Kindi, a Muslim Preacher from the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments; and Saud Bu Hindi.

The participants discussed the issue of national services historically i.e. how it started and where did it reach, along with the history of national service. They also discusses the importance of defending the country and its properties through consolidating all efforts, and the desired effect of the national service (loyalty and belonging to the country, the social effect, the economic effect, political effect and the effect of realizing the importance of discipline).

They touched upon the stages that were prior to launching the national service law (studies and standard comparisons), the stages through which the recruits will pass, and how can the youth be rehabilitated in order to achieve their successful participation in this project.

Dr. Suleiman Moussa Al Jassem said, “National service in concept is serving the country by citizens from their positions weather they were students, teachers or employees. It is a great honor and a holy national duty that contributes in protecting the sons and daughters of the country from challenges. The national service creates an educated generation because being recruited in the military service will make them feel proud of their country and grow the sentiments of loyalty and belonging to the country.”

Dr. Yusuf Abdul Ghaffar Al Shareef said, “The initial experiment ‘Al Bayareq’ was a start and an excellent model for national service, and the country’s wise leadership succeeded in making the UAE the land of security, safety and stability.”

Adnan Hamad noted: “The national service began more than 2000 years ago in Greece. The call for voluntary work was launched by the Late Sheikh Zayed especially after the invasion of Kuwait. The participation at that time was random and unorganized.” He stressed the importance of extending care to volunteers and recruits of the national service because it is an honor for all the Emirati people.

He also called for suitable standards that make interested citizens come voluntarily to join the national service, without imposing any compulsory national service. He said that nine months are a long period of time, and six months are enough based on the European countries experiments.

Colonel Staff Obeid Rashid Al Zahmi said: “the higher leadership chose the name ‘National Service’ to promote the national concepts and the sentiments of belonging, while avoiding any sense of compulsion. The beginning of the project was initiated by several armed forces committees, and many visits were made to a number of countries who implement such programs in order to benefit from their experiences, and set useful comparable standards.”

He said that the period is not long, and was not set randomly; noting that the period was chosen based on several studies and precise plans, and was later on adopted by the higher leadership.

He also pointed out that the National Service program is made up of 60% military training program, while the other 40% is social, security, economic, and political programs. “National Service Program and the training program were not prepared by the Armed Forces alone,” He explained. “Many ministries, authorities, and institutions took part in preparing the training material, a process that spanned over the period of two years.”

Colonel Waleed Salem Al Shamsi explained that recruits in the National Service are receiving policing and leadership skills, in addition to the skill of addressing officials and other. The training also strengthens team spirit, cooperation, enthusiasm, and the other leadership traits that our modern age requires.

“Recruits have to go through basic training phase where they will receive military training,” Colonel Al Shamsi explained. “After that, they will attend social, policing, and leadership programs that develop their skills and encourage innovation and development.” Colonel Al Shamsi also stressed that physical fitness is key to the youth life.

“National Service is not only about training, it rather includes programs and skills that benefit the people of the UAE; National Service will give them new skills that they will utilize in their practical life.”

For his part, media personality Ahmed Al Yammahi indicated that education plays a major role in rising new generation and fostering the principles of patriotism, loyalty, and national service. He also suggested launching a comprehensive media campaign that helps in spreading National Service concepts and sublime objectives.

Dr. Ahmed Al Matrooshi stressed that the UAE people have always worked jointly in defending their motherland. “The national service and the concept of the love of the nation are among the basics and pillars that the UAE people grew up with,” He explained. “This is based on the loyalty to their country that has always been generous in giving them. For this reason, the UAE youth are keen on paying back the good that this country has bestowed upon them.”

Ambassador Muhammad Al Mahmoud expressed his believe in the seed of (the love of the UAE) that Sheikh Zayed has implanted will never change. “Our loyalty to our country will be strong in our hearts forever,” He said. He also called upon the officials, parents, and specialists to encourage the youth on doubling their efforts in serving their country.

On the other hand, Abdul Aziz pointed out that the National Service fosters the values of loyalty and the feeling of belonging in the characters of the youth. He described the National Service as the factory of men and the den of heroes who rightfully defend the national gains.
Concluding, Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Salah Obeid Al Ghoul, Director of Law Respect Culture Bureau said: “We conclude our Ramadan Councils in Al Fujairah as we finish our journey here while the Ramadan Councils will continue achieving their objectives. We, at the Ministry of Interior and the Armed Forces, are working on one and only goal; Serving the UAE and its people.”

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