x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Abu Dhabi Awards honour seven outstanding community members

Held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the awards recognise extraordinary individuals for their contributions to the community.

Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, the National Security Adviser and Vice Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, third right, with the Abu Dhabi Award winners. From left, Mark Upton, who received the award on behalf of his father Roger; Jumaa Al Ghuwais; Khadem Al Romaithi, who received the award on behalf of his late mother, Mouza bint Mroshed Al Subousi; Dominik Vugrinec; Dr Falih Handhal; Peter Hellyer; and Masaood Ahmed Al Masaood, who received the award on behalf of his uncle, Abdulla Mohamed Al Masaood. Ryan Carter / Crown Prince Court – Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, the National Security Adviser and Vice Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, third right, with the Abu Dhabi Award winners. From left, Mark Upton, who received the award on behalf of his father Roger; Jumaa Al Ghuwais; Khadem Al Romaithi, who received the award on behalf of his late mother, Mouza bint Mroshed Al Subousi; Dominik Vugrinec; Dr Falih Handhal; Peter Hellyer; and Masaood Ahmed Al Masaood, who received the award on behalf of his uncle, Abdulla Mohamed Al Masaood. Ryan Carter / Crown Prince Court – Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI // A young boy wanting to make a difference. A falconer who hunted with Sheikh Zayed. A true Emirati pioneer.

These were among the seven winners of the seventh Abu Dhabi Awards who were honoured in a glittering ceremony at Emirates Palace hotel on Tuesday night.

Held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, the awards recognise extraordinary individuals for their contributions to the community.

The awards are designed to celebrate compassionate individuals who have selflessly given their time to build and support the community.

Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, National Security Adviser and Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, presented the awards.

This year’s youngest winner was Dominik Vugrinec, a 14-year-old Croatian student at Al Raha International School. Motivated by a diagnosis of scoliosis two years ago, Dominik led a campaign to screen his fellow students from the medical condition in which a person’s spine is curved. His campaign was adopted by other schools and now hundreds of students have been screened.

This year’s recipients were honoured for their achievements in philanthropy, health and preserving the culture and history of Abu Dhabi.

Abdulla Mohammed Al Masaood won the award for his long-standing service to the Government in the field of foreign service and his tireless charitable efforts.

He has acted as chairman of the National Consultative Council and he has deepened valued relationships with other countries through his support of cultural, social and business initiatives. Masaood Ahmed Al Masaood received the award on behalf of his uncle.

Dr Falih Handhal, an Iraqi historian and author, is the co-author of more than 35 books on the history and culture of the UAE and the region. Dr Handhal came to the UAE more than 40 years ago and developed a passion for local dialects and poetry. His A Dictionary for the Arabic Dialect and Spoken Words of the UAE preserves the linguistic riches of Bedouin oral culture.

Peter Hellyer, a journalist, columnist for The National, and historian originally from the UK, was recognised for his contributions as a writer on the fragile ecology and rich archaeological legacy of the UAE. An amateur archaeologist, Mr Hellyer co-founded the Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeology Survey, which has uncovered some of the most significant historical sites in the region.

Jumaa Manea Al Ghuwais is one of the UAE’s most well-known poets. Recited by young and old alike as part of the UAE’s National Day celebrations, his This is our Country and Zayed’s Home reflect the national pride of the country’s people.

Roger Upton is a passionate falconer who has pursued the sport for more than 50 years and hunted with his friend, Sheikh Zayed, the founder of the UAE. Mr Upton’s travels across the region in search of the best trappers, hunters and artisans led to his book Arab Falconry: History of a Way of Life. The award recognised Mr Upton’s role in helping preserve an essential bedouin custom. Mark Upton received the award on his father’s behalf.

The late Mouza bint Mroshed Al Subousi was a beloved member of the community and a respected healer who used traditional herbal remedies to soothe and cure hundreds, free of charge. Described as a true pioneer, Mrs Al Subousi was a role model for women for her generation and those who came after her. Her son, Khadem Al Romaithi, received the award on her behalf.

The recipients for the Abu Dhabi Awards are chosen by a judging process that looks at the merits and achievements of those who were nominated by the community.

The Abu Dhabi Awards campaign received nearly 30,000 nominations, with 117 different nationalities taking part. A record number of young people and women participated in the nomination process.

newsdesk@thenational.ae