Walking for a Cause - Eighth Annual Emirates Walk for Autism a success

Dubai, UAE, April 17, 2016: Dr. Nahida Abdulla Nasseri, founder of the Emirates Walk for Autism” this year partnered with the Dubai Government, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police, Emirates Red Crescent, Healthcare City, United Nations, Dubai Drums, Gulf Fijians, Al Tariq Rehabilitation and Autism Centre, Autism Centre’s within UAE, University of Sharjah, Gulf Medical University and Higher Colleges of Technology to raise Autism Awareness at Zabeel Park. The aim of the Walk was to raise awareness of the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as the Autism rates are increasing rapidly across the Globe, affecting childhood numerous populations. Emirates Walk for Autism inspires the community to engage with the individuals suffering from the condition and helping them integrate into the mainstream society. Emirates Walk for Autism also gives the message to the other parts of the World that United Arab Emirates recognizes children with Autism and facilitates all kind of facilities such as Clinics, Centre’s etc. for these children within the UAE. Marking Emirates Walk for Autism Awareness day, the INTERGOVERNMENTAL OBSERVER to the UNITION NATIONS ECONOMIC and SOCIAL Council, IIMSAM’s H.E Maradona with H.E Dr. Fahd Merhebi presented on behalf of the Autism Centers a Goodwill Ambassador Certificate to Ms. Maysoon Al Atta who is a physically challenged individual and Dr. Nahida Abdulla Nasseri for being the Founder of the Emirates Walk for Autism. H.E Maradona who participated at the Zabeel Park Autism Event said, “Autism and other forms of disability such as the one I was a victim of, Polio, are part of the human experience that contributes to Human Diversity. Today we celebrate the unique talents of persons with Autism including education, employment, participation in social, political and cultural life. This means that the needs and rights of people with disabilities, including autism, need to be taken fully into account, on an equal footing with other citizens, in the design and implementation of all policies and programmes”. Mr. Mohammed Abdullah Al Haj Al Zarooni, General Manager of Emirate Red Crescent, Dubai Branch said, “the Emirates Walk for Autism is highlighted among Emirates Red Crescent initiatives in supporting the community. Considering the essential need to address issues concerning individuals specially children with autism, the organization teams are on the lookout for any valuable support we can extend.” Fijian Ambassador, H.E Kamlesh Prakash took part in the Autism walk and sent his congratulatory notes to Dr. Nahida on her recent appointment by the UN as Goodwill Ambassador for Children with Autism, and for her contribution to the cause for the last 8 years. Tariq Saif Director of Al Tariq Rehabilitation and Autism Centre, said “Every year Emirates Walk for Autism plays a big role in spreading awareness about Autism. The organizers play an important role in bringing Autism to the forefront and promote an understanding and caring community.” Dr. Binu of Al Fasht Medical Centre, Sharjah said, “It was an amazing experience to be part of this noble cause and see the compassion and care for the affected children and families. We are grateful to be part of this incredible Emirates walk for Autism programme.” Mrs. Hanadi Ghanchi, Director of Kids in Motion, Pediatric Dubai said “together we can and we will help kids with Autism and their families by addressing their needs at all stages of life”. Students from Gulf Medical College, Ajman participated at the Emirates Walk for Autism and also enjoyed the Dubai police band and supporting with the amazing shows, games, dance competitions, musical concerts, face painting and many more activities. They enjoyed being supervised by Dr. Nahida to oversee the activities to support the affected children and they appreciated her work for the children of autism. The walk also saw performances from Fiji Islands. Dubai Drums, regular participants of Autism walk, together with ‘Bula Fiji’ by Gabby Abariga, who brought the packed audience to their feet with some impromptu Island style dance moves as he performed a solo Fijian meke (Club Dance) to the rhythm of the famous Fijian song ‘Tucake Mai’. Gabby also sang the popular Fijian ballad called ‘Era Bini Tu’, which when translated means “There are many Roses around, but you are the Best”, a song which kept the 2000 crowd clapping. The crowd also had an opportunity to visit a Mini-Fiji Booth before witnessing a brief Fijian Yaqona (Kava) ceremony, which was performed, by Gabby Abariga and fellow Fijian Lemeki Leano. Dr Nahida added, “Salutes” especially for students from the Universities who participated this year for this noble cause. We re-new our commitment to better understand ASD and improve the lives of individuals living it. We hope that every little bit that we do helps the families become more aware of autism and learn ways to cope through assistance provided by specialized schools and medical professionals. Many entities have included Autism Awareness in their CSR program with us. And we wish to see more participants for next year.” Participants, students, doctors, autism centres and the Fijian Community sent across congratulatory notes to Dr Nahida for being recognised by the UN as the Goodwill Ambassador for Autism.

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