The unified Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Inmates Week held under the theme of “Lead me to a Better Future” was launched in Abu Dhabi yesterday evening. The opening ceremony held at Mushrif Mall, was attended by a large crowd, participants, sponsors, and strategic partners.
The activities commenced with a musical performance by the Abu Dhabi Police Music Band which included national and traditional pieces alongside the national anthem. The audience expressed their admiration for the interaction and their delight could be felt throughout the mall.  
In his speech, Colonel Mohammed Saif Al Zaabi, Head of the Punitive and Correctional Establishments Department at Abu Dhabi Police, commended the large crowd for their outstanding attendance and for attending the annual activities of the unified GCC Inmates Week “which truly embodies the meaning of communication and partnership amongst all community segments.”
Colonel Al Zaabi added: “The theme ‘Lead me to a Better Future’ for 2014 was chosen to highlight the role of the family as the nucleus of a homeland – as it is the first cell that forms the social fabric and social stability of the community. The family is the foundational key of social education and is vital for instilling good conduct and moral standing.
With the absence of an influential family member or breadwinner, families are directly impacted in bridging various social needs that include interdependence and integration. This year’s theme adequately addresses our objectives to address these needs and to support and help families who are affected by this.”
Colonel Al Zaabi extended his gratitude to the management of the Mushrif Mall, the sponsors, and the participants for their efforts in preparing the event. He said: “The United Arab Emirates, together with its sisters in the GCC, is keen to care for the inmates and properly rehabilitate them both behaviorally and professionally so that they are able to return to their communities as good citizens who serve their families and homelands.”
The events and activities commenced with a presentation by media figure Jassem Obeid Al Zaabi from the Community Police and Abdullah Al Mahri from Al Mafraq Juveniles Center; alongside the opening of tents filled with inmates’ products and materials,  and a tour to review the strategic partners’ offers. A magic show performed by magician Yahya Al Majid and a lecture on first aid delivered by Dr. Nadir Ibrahim Issa from the Emergency and Public Safety Department followed the opening activities. Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Centre’s Yola Band presented an excellent performance, and was followed by poetry readings recited by a number of public members. The activities also included cultural competitions that witnessed great interaction from the visitors.

The Law Respect Culture Bureau, National Rehabilitation Center (NRC), Emergency and Public Safety Department, Saaed Society to Reduce Traffic Accidents, Medical Services Department, Family Development Foundation (FDF), Vocational Education Development Center (VEDC), and the Traffic and Patrols Directorate took part in the activities. 

The willingness of the strategic partners to participate in such events organized by the MoI highlights their recognition of the important role civil society organizations have. Social worker Shaima Al Zahmi from the Family Development Foundation (FDF) said: “We are keen to consistently participate at the GCC Inmates Week, as our goal is to contribute our expertise and skills to help build educated families and a cohesive community.”

Warrant Officer Saleh Al Ketbi from Al Faraj Relief Fund said: “The fund’s management is involved in every activity related to the Punitive and Correctional Establishment, and most notably the GCC Inmates Week. This year, the fund’s efforts resulted in the release of 34 inmates. The fund also vowed to sponsor a number of families with inmates until they are released.”

Abdallah Mansour, from Al Khawarizmi International College, said: “The international college is directly involved in the activities of the Punitive and Correctional Establishment, including the GCC Inmates Week. Our staff members have also organized courses in order to develop the inmates’ performance and skills.”

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