ABU DHABI, 5th August, 2020 (WAM) — Under the patronage of H.H. 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 honour undergraduates and graduates of the 18th cohort of female and the 8th cohort of males.
Her Highness congratulated the 1,592 graduates in her speech, which was delivered on her behalf by Dr. Maitha bint Salem Al Shamsi, Minister of State. “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,” Dr. Al Shamsi said.
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 UAE’s 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 realise 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, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and his brother His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE 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.”
In closing, Her Highness extended her heartfelt thanks to Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth and 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.
Al Kaabi, in turn, congratulated the graduates alongside ministers, senior officials, and figures as guest speakers. The attendees included Hessa Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development; Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs; and Khalfan Belhoul, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, and 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.”
In turn, 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.”
Hessa Bu Humaid, who was part of the first batch of students to graduate from ZU’s Graduate Studies programme, 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.
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, 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.
ZU’s virtual graduation, under the theme ‘Class of Possibilities’ , hosted over 2,730 guests attendees and was aired to audiences across the globe.