H.H. Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Ali al Nuaimi of Ajman, also known as "the Green Sheikh," visited NYUAD this week. In addition to taking a tour of the Downtown Campus, he met with 17 students, faculty, and staff members to brainstorm ideas for future collaboration.
The Sheikh, who is known for his charity work and his interest in environmental issues, discussed opportunities with students to engage with his Alihsan Charity Center, a non-profit organization based in Ajman. The center serves poor families that are unable to work, especially unsupported women and orphans, through the distribution of food, medical care provision, skill training, and support of other basic needs. Some NYUAD students had previously engaged with the organization during the Seven Emirates Spring Break trip, where they spent some time in Ajman and volunteered with the charity. During the meeting, students committed to a weekend trip to Ajman to volunteer with the organization, and also suggested establishing a sustainable and strategic collaboration in the future.
The group discussed a range of social issues, from the importance of valuing the elderly as a source of information on local traditions, to the role of the youth in paving the way forward.
"I think it's great that the Sheikh is so eager to get involved," NYUAD freshman Sachi Leith said. "From the ideas that were exchanged, it seems like we have a lot to share with the community, and the community has a lot to share with us. These exchanges will be really essential as the school moves forward here in Abu Dhabi, and it seems like he can be a big part of helping us integrate and work with UAE locals on things like sustainability, charity, and education."