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Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, bestowed the prestigious title of Arab Hope Maker upon Iraqi pharmacist Tala Al Khalil during the fourth season of the Arab Hope Maker awards ceremony. Al Khalil emerged victorious by garnering the highest number of votes among the contenders, solidifying her status as a beacon of hope in the Arab world.

In a magnanimous gesture, Sheikh Mohammed extended the title of Arab Hope Maker to all four finalists—Mohamed Al Najjar of Iraq, Amine Imnir of Morocco, and Fathiya Al Mahmoud of Egypt—in recognition of their commendable efforts in fostering hope and positivity within their respective communities.

Emphasizing the pivotal role of hope in surmounting challenges, Sheikh Mohammed remarked, “Hope making is life making in our part of the world. Collaborative efforts are indispensable in overcoming obstacles, and it is the duty of each generation to forge a better reality for their societies.”

Acknowledging the pervasive threat of despair, Sheikh Mohammed underscored the importance of nurturing hope, optimism, and positivity among the youth to counteract its detrimental effects.

Tala Al Khalil’s journey towards becoming an Arab Hope Maker began in 2015 when she initiated a program at Basra Children’s Hospital aimed at supporting young cancer patients. This initiative provided a sanctuary of optimism and hope for children grappling with the harsh realities of their medical conditions. Inspired by her early efforts, Al Khalil founded the Warriors Academy in 2018, extending support to resilient young individuals battling various illnesses. Presently, over 200 children with Down syndrome and cancer benefit from her compassionate care.

Among the finalists, Iraqi contender Mohamed Al Najjar, who overcame the loss of his leg in 2014, epitomizes the resilience and determination characteristic of a true Hope Maker. Fuelled by his passion for football, Al Najjar joined the Portsmouth Football Club for amputees while pursuing his PhD in the United Kingdom. Upon returning to Iraq, he endeavored to replicate his experience, leading an amputee football team to qualify for the 2022 Amputee Football World Cup in Turkey. Thanks to Al Najjar’s inspirational leadership, the Iraqi squad now ranks 19th globally, out of 70 participating teams.

The closing ceremony of the fourth edition of the Hope Makers program, orchestrated by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), witnessed the participation of over 12,000 attendees at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai. Notable Arab celebrities, including Ahlam, Hussain Al Jassmi, and Assala, along with prominent media personalities and artists, lent their support to this celebration of hope and philanthropy. With over 58,000 submissions received from across the region, the program exemplifies the unwavering commitment to making a positive impact on society.

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