Tag Archives: Sheikh Mohammed

Kharareef Writing Contest Opens for Submissions February 19th

The SMCCU has partnered with ZUKharareef Story Telling Club and Sheikha AlYazia bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan’s ZOWD Foundation for the First Annual New Fairytales & Fables from the UAE Writing Competition. Last November, the contest idea won in the heritage category of the ZU Innovation Awards, and is the brainchild of ZUKharareef  Club President Noor Abdul Hamaid.  The SMCCU  has provided its expertise to the implementation strategy of the contest, and  details of the competition  and school  registration can be found on our website at www.cultures.ae/index.php/writing-contest . The contest is  meant to celebrate the art of storytelling within the Emirati local traditions and our participation and support in this cultural literacy project and reading initiative are part  The Mohammed bin Rashid Global Initiatives, and the Year of Reading Project.

The concept of the contest is meant to connect our educational communities, celebrate Emirati heritage and culture, and contribute to HH Sheikh Mohammed’s efforts to encourage reading and writing in Arabic.  Students will be asked to compose their own “fairytales and fables” less than 500 words, in Arabic or English, that reflect the 40 themes chosen by the contest organizers.  These themes will focus on Emirati values and character traits, encourage  these values and/ or discourage values and behaviors inconsistent with Emirati culture. The competition will be held for grades 7-12 with groupings in English for grades 7-9 and 10-12 and the same categories will apply in Arabic.    Schools are required to host an internal competition and we encourage them to include all their grades in that process. Topics and themes will be announced on  February 19th, 2016, the opening day of the contest and submission deadline is March 19th, 2016 which coincides with World Story Telling Day 2016.

Winners will have their story illustrated and published in a short story book.

From the story Mile, a collection of short stories written by students at Zayed University

“Aiisha and the Gaf Tree”, a collection of short stories written by students at Zayed University




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Mouloud – The Commemoration of the Day of Birth of Prophet Mohammed’s 2015

Muslims around the world mark this Thursday, December 24th, the birth of the prophet Muhammed, Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH), the last prophet of God who spread the message of Islam. He was born on Monday, 12 or 17th Rabi’ Al-Awal, in the Islamic calendar, in the year 570 in the Gregorian calendar, in the town of Mecca, which is in now Saudi Arabia. His name derives from the Arabic verb ‘hamada’, meaning ‘to praise, to glorify’. Prophet Muhammed was an orphan whose father ‘Abdallah’ died before he was born and his mother ‘Amina’ died when he was only 6 years old. He was raised by his Grand father ‘Abdul Multalib’ and later by his uncle ‘Abu Talib.’  He was known across Mecca for his kindness of heart, correctness of manners and purity of morals. At the age of 40 he received the revelation from God on the mount of Hira, through the Angel Gabriel and spent the rest of his life uniting mankind together for the purpose of worshipping the One God of Adam and all the other prophets, peace be upon them all.

During his 60 years of life prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught several important principles and morals, and even set forth rules for combat. He taught Muslims that all humans are equal regardless of their race, color and nationality. Moreover he instructed them not to hurt, hate, transgress against, put down or despise others. He was not only a prophet and messenger of God, but a social reformer, a moral guide, a statesman, a faithful friend, a devoted husband and a loving father. Therefore, he is considered the best example of behavior for Muslims, and according to the Quran, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the most excellent example for all of humanity. He was sent as a mercy to all mankind, he said:

The compassionate one (God) has mercy on those who are merciful, if you show mercy to those on earth, He Who is in heaven will show mercy to you

Even non-Muslim historians recognize him to as one of the most successful personalities in history. His complete biography has been authenticated and circulated amongst scholars around the world.

Here is some of what these scholars said about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), amongst them Michael H. Hart author of the book “The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History” New York: Hart Publishing Company, Inc. 1978, p. 33, who said

My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular level.

This is what Karen Armstrong, best-selling British author said about the compassion of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

In his 23 years of prophethood he transformed the Arab peninsula form paganism to the worship of one God; from tribal wars to solidarity and cohesion; from moral bankruptcy and lawlessness to the highest standard of moral excellence and disciplined living.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who spent his life spreading the message of Islam and peace, left us with these important words in his last sermon before his death, in the year 632 in Medina also in Saudi Arabia, reminding us to live in peace and good relations with God, oneself and others:

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship ALLAH, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action…

Remember, one day you will appear before ALLAH and answer your deeds. So beware, do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.”


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Spirit of the Union 44th National Day Treasures of the UAE 2015 Art Competition Awards

In honor of the Spirit of the Union 44th National Day Celebration, the SMCCU honors the winners of the its 4th Annual Treasures of the UAE Art Competition.  Winners and their families attended a private viewing of the artwork that will be displayed in the SMCCU during the month of December 2015.  The awards ceremony followed and included a cultural program and lunch, a tour of the Al Fahidi historic district and Diwan Mosque, and awarding of prizes.  The winners took away a package of prizes worth 1000AED each, and their artwork is now featured in the 2016 Treasures of the UAE Calendar available at the SMCCU.  Each month two winners will be featured in the Hijri-Gregorian calendar.

This year more than 550 students entered the competition from 53 schools across the UAE.  Managing Director, Nasif Kayed hosted the event along with volunteers from the SMCCU.  “Our aim is to spotlight the many historic sites and monuments across the UAE in an effort to bring about knowledge and appreciation of  our rich culture and history.  It is also an opportunity for students to express their creative talents.”, said Mr. Kayed.

The Emirates Fine Arts Society once again graciously donated their time in choosing our winning artists, and Yas Water World, Nestle and Explorer generously sponsored the competition this year.

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SMCCU Hosts Business Councils for Iftar during Ramadan

The SMCCU has been pleased to host several business councils and corporations this month as  part of its aim to promote cultural understanding throughout the month of Ramadan. One of the highlights this year was a private Iftar arranged jointly for several business councils including The German Emirati Joint Business Council, Canadian Business Council, South African Business Council, Australian Business Council, and Netherlands Business Council. The event held earlier this month was attended by more than 130 members and guests. The SMCCU is keen to provide a platform for cultural exchange through its many initiatives and programmes. Corporations and local business groups frequent our programmes throughout the year as attendees gain insight into the culture, tradition, and religion of the UAE.

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SMCCU Milestones: 11 Events Held on March 26th

The SMCCU as it continues to expand its programmes and offerings, recently held 11 separate events in one day, the beginning of another milestone for the centre, now in its 15th year. The day began with 106 students from Gems World Academy, who were hosted in two groups at the Heritage House in historic old Dubai.  Their programme included an authentic Emirati Breakfast followed by a Cultural Walk and visit inside the Diwan Mosque. At the same time, the centre’s traditional wind tower house was occupied by Undertakers Incentives for a cultural lunch followed by a walk round the historic district. Another group of volunteers hosted our public guests throughout the day who attended various activities including historic walks around the Al Fahidi District and a cultural lunch and dinner event. In the afternoon we received guests from the  Dubai Judicial Institute, who were hosting a group of US students studying law and governing in the UAE.  Their visit included a lunch and cultural tour of the traditional village along the Dubai Creek.   The SMCCU is keen to meet the needs of the community and forward its mission of providing an open platform for all individuals wishing to experience local culture in Dubai.

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SMCCU Wins Stevie Twice – Bronze Award & People’s Choice Award for Favorite Company

Following being announced the Winner of a BRONZE Stevie Award in the International Business Awards for favorite Company in the Non-Profit Category, the SMCCU went on to WIN this years People’s Choice Award for Favorite Company in the Non-Profit Category.  More than 30,000 votes were cast by people worldwide during three weeks in August-September. Every organization that was honored in the 34 industry-specific Company of the Year categories was included in the people’s choice competition. Among the list of winners were ActionCOACHDelta Air LinesFreeConferenceCall.com,LifeLockSamsung ElectronicsShinhan Card, Unilever, and Al Ghadeer Water Factory LLC, a UAE based company.

On receiving the award our General Manager Nasif Kayed commented, “The time has come for such an organisation to be recognised as a pioneer in building bridges of cultural understanding.  In a city such as Dubai, with more than 200 nationalities, visiting, living and working together, our organisation has been able to focus on promoting a peaceful co-existence, in honor of the vision of the great leaders of this nation. We thank all of our supporters and welcome all to join in these efforts.”  Whether you can volunteer a talent or simply invite your family, friends and co-workers to one of our programmes, our centre is keen to continue the mission which began  almost 15 years ago, “Open Doors. Open Minds.

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