highachieving emirati siblings geared up to accomplish very different goals
Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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High-achieving Emirati siblings geared up to accomplish very different goals

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Arab Today, arab today High-achieving Emirati siblings geared up to accomplish very different goals

Salem Al Mehari, 19, and his sister Aisha Al Mehari, 18, in Dubai.
Dubai - Arab Today

A brother and sister who were candidates for high-achiever awards say they intend to set an example by achieving their goals.
Emiratis Aisha Al Mehari and Salem Al Mehari have excelled in very different fields – Aisha, 18, in academia, and Salem, 19, in karate.
A cerebral palsy sufferer, Salem represented the UAE in the World Karate Championships last year, becoming the first disabled person to do so. He has ambitions of competing at the 2018 Youth Olympics and the Paralympics in 2024.
Aisha passed Grade 11 last year with 93 per cent pass marks and became one of 371 high achievers to be awarded an undisclosed cash prize by the Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation last week.
She praised the UAE for being an open society that empowers women.
"Things are changing. All my Emirati friends and female cousins are very serious about their education and career. I believe that the UAE gives equal opportunity to women to study and follow their dreams, if they are willing to pursue them," said the Grade 12 pupil at Al Khaleej National School in Garhoud.
"Women’s education is considered extremely important both in our religion [Islam] and in our Emirati culture. That’s why we cannot ignore them and their progress in the national development."
Aisha wants to pursue a degree in graphic design at Zayed University. "I know, with my academic record, I can easily get admission in any international university but I am not obsessed with a western degree," she said.
"If my national university is providing me the best possible education in a local culture then why should I be far from home?"
The teenager also wishes to work for a government organisation "to serve the country, not because I want a cozy job with a heavy package and perks. Working for the government means participating in the country’s progress".
She also feels that the diverse cultures living in the UAE is also a strength. "The balance of having multiculturalism as well maintaining local heritage is an asset of the UAE," Aisha said. "We are getting the best international environment, meeting beautiful people without leaving our homeland. Which other country gives such a perfect combination to its people?"
Her South African mother, Maryna Van Der Merwe, is proud of what both her children are looking to achieve.
Salem came ninth in the World Karate Championship and it has given him the taste for success.
"Our aim now is to make him a world champion," said Ms Van Der Merwe. "He is the first mentally impaired Emirati to have represented the country. We are very proud of him and the way my son is working hard, I am confident he will win a gold medal for the UAE in the 2024 Paralympics."
At the high-achievers awards last Saturday, Salem, who did not win, said: "I want to win and I will be the world hero soon. I am working hard to make my country proud."
Although he missed an award, a short film about Salem’s achievements and preparations for 2024 was shown at the event, and it was well received by those in attendance, among them Dr Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education.
Tayeb Al Rais, secretary general of the foundation, said: "As part of our mandate to empower the children under our care until they graduate from university, Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation spares no effort in providing a stimulating environment and all the necessary tools to enable them to make the most of their education. Our initiative honouring outstanding students aligns with the UAE’s relentless drive towards excellence in education."

Source: The National

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highachieving emirati siblings geared up to accomplish very different goals highachieving emirati siblings geared up to accomplish very different goals

 



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