When the UAE named 2017 as the Year of Giving, it was reinforcing one of its core national values — of humanitarianism and generosity, a guiding principle that has shaped its growth and development as the top donor of aid in the world. This is an achievement and honour that has come by virtue of its faithful adherence to the Islamic values of compassion and social responsibility as the highest virtue of individuals, societies and governments.
The power of generosity is exemplified by the many examples this year across social domains as public and private institutions as well as individuals and groups who have come forward to contribute to this noble cause. The recent act of generosity by a private bank that waived a sum of Dh200,000 towards diya money for an individual caught in a legal bind, even as he was trying to help somebody, is another sterling example of how the Year of Giving has generated a groundswell of benevolence in the country. The incident has proved, again, that when the value of kindness is demonstrated by the leaders of the country and is woven into the national fabric, it leads to a culture of compassion that penetrates all layers of society.
The UAE, with its exemplary record of heart-felt charity across the world, has altered the lives of millions and shown how such a commitment can be an agent of change. The balancing forces it has created through giving have become indispensable aids to boost societal health and human achievement for a myriad cultures and people. The Year of Giving has now acquired a self-sustaining momentum that will see it head towards farther milestones in the years to come.