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  • Writer's picturePam King Sams

Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba highlights achievements of the UAE at 49th National Day.

Yesterday's United Arab Emirates 49th National Day celebrations led by Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba highlights the amazing achievements of the UAE and its ambitious goals for the future. It is an honor and pleasure to work with leaders of this outstanding country.

Special guest Chef José Andrés thanked the UAE for its support and spoke with Ambassador Al Otaiba about his organization World Central Kitchen’s efforts to help those in need during the pandemic.

“I know we are in different countries, with different flags, different religions. And sometimes they try to tell us that we are all different, when actually in my experience after disasters, we are all not so different from each other,” said Andrés. “We are all the same children of God. We are all the same people. We love to work to help others. We have empathy and in the worst of moments, the best always shines through.”

Later, the Ambassador talked to comedian and entertainer Steve Harvey about his experience in the UAE, and the importance of diversity and inclusion.

Harvey described his experience visiting the UAE, saying, “I tell people that they should go see the UAE for themselves. Be open and experience it. You won’t believe the warmth of the culture, the acceptance of you being who you are.”

Embassy diplomats also paid tribute to the work of Emirati medical professionals in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighted the successful repatriation of Emirati nationals and UAE residents in the US, and underscored the UAE’s commitment to global cooperation to address the pandemic. ​

Leaders from Embassy partners also sent well wishes and thanks to the UAE, including the Anti-Defamation League; Children’s National Hospital; Cleveland Metropolitan School District; the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary; the Midnight Mission; Monumental Sports & Entertainment; NASA; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; the Smithsonian Institution; the San Diego Zoo; Special Olympics; and United Way of Collier and the Keys.

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