ABU DHABI // Mahra Al Dhaheri has a challenging job at the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority.
As a public relations officer she has a hectic schedule managing events and activities, which is not an easy task for anyone – especially someone who was blinded at five through illness.
Ms Al Dhaheri was honoured with the prestigious Abu Dhabi Award for Excellence in Government Performance on Monday.
“I have a talking programme, which helps me to execute all office work accurately. At the same time I use a Braille-capable computer if required,” she said.
“But mostly I use the normal computer. The programme tells me what is being typed. All praise to Allah, I don’t make mistakes while doing my work.”
Ms Al Dhaheri was very excited at receiving such a big award, and praised the Rulers and thanked her parents for their support.
The third edition of the Abu Dhabi Awards for Excellence in Government Performance honoured 18 entities and individuals, and gave special medals to two long-serving workers in the Government.
Kamal Al Haj, 65, a Department of Finance employee, was nominated for his 40 years of service.
Mr Al Haj, executive director of the accounts section, does not want to retire and wishes to serve the nation for as long as he can.
“For 40 years I have been giving my services to the department,” he said. “I appreciate the Rulers of the emirate for recognising our work.”
Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, National Security Adviser and Vice Chairman of the Executive Council, presented the awards and congratulated the winners.
This year, 16 winners were honoured out of 24 awards up for grabs. Eight awards were not given out as nominees did not meet the standards set by the Abu Dhabi Awards committee.
Dr Omniyat Al Hajri, director of public health and research at the Health Authority Abu Dhabi, won the excellence award in the Executive Directors category.
“My winning is because of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak’s woman empowerment initiative. I thank her and the Rulers of the emirate,” Dr Al Hajri said. “This is a win for every woman who serves the Government.”
She established a licensing and evaluation system at the department, and had studied at the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland.
“I feel proud that I am in a profession to help save the lives of people,” Dr Al Hajri said. “I have been raised and trained to pursue excellence and seek the best for my country and my people.”
Another special award winner was a retiree from Al Ain, who had served more than 50 years in Government agencies such as Adnoc and the Department of Agriculture.
“I knew nothing and was surprised to know that I would receive such a big award,” said Saif Al Niyadi, 66.
“I only knew about it yesterday. I am happy that all my services to the nation were recognised. Now I am retired and free from work so I look after my farm in Al Ain.”
Mr Al Niyadi joined the other winners in thanking the Rulers for the honour.