Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, Zayed University held its very first “virtual” graduation ceremony, to honor undergraduates and graduates of the 18th cohort of female and the 8th cohort of males.
Her Highness congratulated the 1592 graduates in her speech, which was delivered on her behalf by Her Excellency Dr. Maitha bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State, she said: “You are the constellation of infinite possibilities, a prime example of the excellence demonstrated by Emiratis through their creative and innovative capabilities in diverse fields of knowledge.”
She added: “I commend Zayed University and your efforts, students of Zayed University, for remaining undeterred by the pandemic in achieving your academic goals. Thanks to your perseverance and enthusiasm, you have surpassed unchartered territories and today you have reached a monumental milestone. This graduation signifies the beginning of the journey of your future. You are the Class of Possibilities.”
She further said that the wise UAE leadership is a role model for creating possibilities and transforming challenges into opportunities for the development of the country and its people. This model has established the foundations to foster creative minds and helped realize the importance of equipping generations with experiences and skills towards building a future of change, progress and growth.
Her Highness told the ZU student body: “As the future generation of the nation’s leaders and contributors, you should continue to effectively educate yourself and adapt to an ever changing and dynamic world. Re-envision and transform yourself to adapt to the sphere of technological advancements and enhance your critical thinking to serve the nation in different areas of development.”
She also said: “His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and his brother His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and their brothers, the rulers of the UAE, give the academic process and the foundations of seeking knowledge a high level of attention and priority, given that education is the basis for elevating progress across all fields.”
Her Highness further addressed the graduates by saying, “Let every one of you be a renewed symbol of effective contribution and achievement, and continue your drive towards life long learning. Your country holds great hopes for you. And I reiterate my sincere congratulations to you and your families, who have enabled your success to attain your aspirations and ambitions.”
In closing, Her Highness extended her heartfelt thanks to Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, President of Zayed University, and to all the stakeholders and members of the ZU community for their exceptional efforts at managing the University and delivering this exceptional graduation ceremony given the circumstances.
Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, congratulated the graduates alongside leading ministers from the UAE Cabinet and government leaders and figures as guest speakers. Including Her Excellency Hessa Bu Humaid, Minister of Community Development, Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs, and His Excellency Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, and last but not least, the First Emirati Astronaut, Hazza Al Mansouri.
During the ceremony, Noura Al Kabbi, said: “We are proud of our Zayed University graduates. We invested all of our efforts to foster a sophisticated learning environment and you have proved to be the best of the nation as you get ready to shape its future. We are eager to witness your accomplishments in your next steps along the journey you have embraced. As we overcome every challenge, it bolsters our strength, today, you are ready for tomorrow, optimistic about the future, and equipped with determination.”
His Excellency Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, the Minister of Education, said: “We celebrate a cohort of Excellence, the Class of Possibilities that devoted their time and efforts to gain knowledge, skills and exceptional capabilities from a national academic institution, which is recognized for its high level of competence and quality, to pursue their aspired attainments.”
H.E added, “The support, care and attention shown by Her Highness Sheikha Fatma bint Mubarak towards education is unmatchable, which is evident and celebrated today. The march towards education in the UAE has never slowed down nor stopped regardless of the circumstances. But rather elevated beyond expectations and met the aspirations of the wise leadership. Today, our educational institutions are competing regionally and globally in terms of standards, best practices, frameworks and policies.”
Her Excellency Hessa Bu Humaid, who was part of the first batch of students to graduate from ZU’s Graduate Studies program, focused on overcoming challenges, and reminded students that the journey of life comprises many hurdles. She underscored the need to make the best of all circumstances to ensure a brighter future.
Her Excellency Shamma Al Mazrui highlighted the value of continuous learning and deliberate practice as key factors of success and offered illustrative examples of self-growth and development from her experiences as a young Emirati achiever.
For his part, His Excellency Khalfan Belhoul touched upon the resilience and concerted efforts that young generations today are capable of, and also offered suggestions on how they can emerge from the crisis ready to thrive and shape their future in the post-COVID-19 world.
Hazaa Al-Mansouri, the first Emirati astronaut, congratulated the graduates and assured them that the UAE and its wise leadership have a future vision for its youth. “We are all honored to be part of a nation that harnesses all resources to serve its people. The youth are the nation’s basis and solid foundation, their education and knowledge is key to drive us all towards aspired heights.”
ZU’s virtual graduation, under the theme ‘Class of Possibilities’ which hosted over 2,730 guests attendees and was aired to audiences across the globe, aimed to give graduates a sense of unity and featured several memorable and visually appealing elements – from specially arranged renditions of the UAE national anthem by the famous composer Ihab Darwish that was filmed on the University campus, in Dubai, to the bold, grand and inspiring graduation film featuring the Class of Possibilities, that was directed by acclaimed Emirati filmmaker, Nayla Al Khaja and narrated by veteran Emirati actor and filmmaker, Abdullah Aljunaibi.
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