Under the Patronage of UN Messenger of Peace and Chairperson of International Humanitarian City, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Wife of Vice President and Prime Minister of U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and in coordination with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Dubai's International Humanitarian City (IHC) on Tuesday marked World Humanitarian Day (WHD) 2014 by organising a walk to commemorate humanitarian workers' courageous efforts across the globe.
August 19 marks the anniversary of the UN Headquarters bombing in Baghdad in 2003 when 22 people lost their lives. In an effort to raise public awareness of humanitarian assistance worldwide - and the people who risk their lives in order to provide it - the United Nations General Assembly designated August 19 as World Humanitarian Day in 2008. Since then, World Humanitarian Day has become a global celebration of humanitarian action. This year, the aim is to bring the focus back on the humanitarian workers and organisations that risk their lives every day to bring relief to communities in need of assistance.
The walk which took place at The Dubai Mall – the world's largest shopping, leisure and entertainment destination which attracts visitors from all over the world – was witnessed by some 30,000 visitors and consisted of over 1,500 people who participated in solidarity with all humanitarian workers across the globe. Representatives of local and international humanitarian organisations, visitors, residents, and regional artists including Fayez Al Saeed, Aryam, Ahmed Fathi, Rania Shaban, Roua Al Saban, Ahmad Abdullah, Saoud Al Kaabi, Manal Abdallah, Abdallah Al Ghamdi, Abdallah Bin Haidar and Nada Al Shaibani all joined the walk as part of their support for the WHD 2014 campaign.
In line with this year's WHD theme, "The World Needs More Humanitarian Heroes", previously recorded interviews with the local celebrities were aired during the occasion, in which the featured individuals were asked, as Messengers of Humanity, to convey the importance of taking action. "Messengers of Humanity" is a community of global advocates that are called upon to take action on major crises and events by sharing inspiring content on social networks.
"We are honoured to bring this global campaign to Dubai and the U.A.E. for the third year, and join our UN partners in celebrating humanitarian work and recognising the dire risks aid workers face every day, sacrificing themselves to save the lives of others in need," said IHC CEO Shaima Al Zarooni. "We would also like to take this opportunity to express gratitude to all the participants including IHC BM Mr Saeed Hareb, and representatives of fellow Dubai Government establishments like the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Public Prosecution, Dubai Police, Immigration Department, in addition to local volunteer associations and charities for supporting this campaign and contributing to its success.
"I am also grateful to our partners whose joined efforts made this campaign possible –Dubai Media Incorporated who provided extensive media coverage, Etisalat who was our main sponsor, Emirates Airlines who supported with spreading awareness in-flights, The Dubai Mall who generously provided the venue, Alhan Art Production who connected us to local talents as spokespersons, and Group 32 who supported the campaign by showcasing WHD branded premier cars around the city to raise public awareness," Al Zarooni added.