ICBA, Zayed University observe Zayed Humanitarian Day with community initiative
The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) organized a special event on Zayed Humanitarian Day, which is observed every year on the 19th day of the holy month of Ramadan, for a group of women students from the Kulna Club (Community Garden) of Zayed University’s Dubai campus.
The event was hosted under ICBA’s community initiative called 3N, or the power of triple noon (derived from the Arabic letter ن, which is pronounced as noon). The three Arabic letters of the initiative represent three key actions: grow, harvest, and share.
The event aimed to raise awareness among youth about sustainable agricultural practices and cultivate a sense of generosity and service.
During the event, the students got the opportunity to interact with ICBA’s scientists and specialists and learn about the center’s research-for-development activities and programs that contribute to food security efforts in different countries, including the UAE.
Dr. Tarifa Alzaabi, Acting Director General of ICBA, said: “We were pleased to welcome a group of women students from Zayed University to observe Zayed Humanitarian Day. We held this event as part of our 3N and ICBA Youth Engagement Society (ICBA YES) initiatives which focus on engaging young people in supporting food security efforts through collaboration and innovation. I would like to thank Zayed University for joining us on this occasion as we pay tribute to the great humanitarian legacy of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE’s founding father. In the spirit of his legacy, we are committed to continuing to help farming communities in different parts of the world to improve their food security and livelihoods.”
The students also toured the Emirates Soil Museum and visited the center’s research facilities, including greenhouses. What is more, they collected about 200 kg of tomatoes, which were donated to the Emirates Red Crescent at the end of the event.
Dr. Suhail AlGhfeli, Co-Chair at Zayed University’s College of Natural and Health Sciences, said: “The cooperation between Zayed University and ICBA is a fruitful one, which can be illustrated through university social responsibility (USR) towards our community, and the role of ICBA in community events such as Zayed Humanitarian Day is a remarkable example of strengthening the bonds with the UAE’s society. The event was launched yesterday with the participation of the Emirates Red Crescent, which helps people locally and internationally. During the event, Zayed University students harvested and distributed tomatoes grown at ICBA. Last but not least, we appreciate the initiative and marvelous efforts by Dr. Tarifa Alzaabi and her team, and we are sure this is the first step towards long-term collaboration.”
Ms. Dhabia Al Shehi, a student from Zayed University, said: “I am a student at Zayed University majoring in Environmental Science and Sustainability, and a member of the environmental Kulna Club. I would like to thank ICBA for giving me and other club members the amazing opportunity to visit their greenhouse where we learned about applied agricultural research, and the new innovative methods of growing food while conserving water, which is an essential and relevant practice for the UAE. In addition, we were shown how to collect freshly grown tomato and participated in the 3N initiative (grow, harvest, and share). Those tomatoes will be distributed with the help of the Emirates Red Crescent. Hopefully, this will not be the last time visiting ICBA, and I am looking forward to future trips and collaborations.”
3N was launched in 2020 in line with the vision of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan to work together with local partners and authorities to contribute to food security, raise awareness among communities about sustainable agriculture, and promote healthy eating habits.
ICBA YES is an initiative aimed at facilitating communication and collaboration between young people in the UAE and their peers in other countries. Its main goal is to address local and global challenges related to food security and agricultural production in marginal environments and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. ICBA YES is designed to serve as a platform for best practices, innovative solutions, and technologies.