The past met the future at Masdar Institute during the 44th UAE National Day celebrations, where time-honored Emirati cultural activities were celebrated at the sustainable campus.
Special zones were set up between research center and laboratory buildings where Emirati activities, cultural displays, and traditional foods were shared to mark the holiday, while an Innovation Zone featured some of novel research being done at the Institute.
Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Interim Provost, Masdar Institute, said: “The 44th UAE National Day is an opportunity for us to celebrate the legacy, journey and beauty of our country and people, and Masdar Institute, as a research university focused on supporting the UAE’s economic and strategic goals, is proud to be a part of that. We hope our efforts to develop the human and intellectual capital needed for the country’s continuing prosperity will contribute to an even brighter future and give us all even greater cause to celebrate each coming year.”
The 44th National Day celebrations began with the Abu Dhabi Police Band playing the UAE National Anthem, which led a march through the festival arena campus. A heritage area recalled the UAE’s historic past with a traditional ‘dukan’ store set up on campus to give visitors a chance to experience this old-fashioned venue for exchanging information and buying basic goods.
The camel and falcon – two iconic elements of desert life – were also on campus, allowing visitors an opportunity to see these cherished symbols of the UAE up close. Masdar Institute also hosted live demonstrations of handicraft-making, cooking of Emirati foods, and pottery-making. Prizes were later distributed to those who successfully answered trivia questions about the UAE’s historic past and traditions.
The Innovation Zone highlighted some of Masdar Institute’s many research projects in water, energy, microsystem and smart systems technology, echoing the event’s special relevance to the theme of the week’s UAE-wide celebration of innovation.
Many Masdar Institute Emirati students participated in the day’s events, manning various stalls during the day. The international students actively took part in various events, displaying their keenness to learn about the UAE’s culture and lifestyle.
Emirati student Noora Abdulrahman from Engineering System and Management said, “I am so proud to be here today to celebrate the 44th UAE National Day. This day reminds the younger generation of the sacrifices that our forefathers made to bring together the federation and today we are happy to enjoy the benefits of their deeds.”
Colombian Juan David Barbosa, an Engineering Systems Management student, said: “Masdar Institute’s National Day celebration was a nice firsthand experience of the cultural roots that unite the country. It also provided a glimpse of the great future that waits ahead.”
Spaniard Nicolas Ramirez Goicoechea from the Sustainable Critical Infrastructure program, said: “I really enjoyed the 44th UAE National Day celebrations at Masdar Institute. The celebrations made it possible for me to learn about the customs, try the traditional Emirati men’s kandoora and even see a camel! It was a really fun day.”
02 December 2015