Jawaher Al Qasimi: We must be leaders of our lives, not followers 

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA), has re-emphasised the critical role developmental institutions play in driving the continued growth and prosperity of communities amidst the ever-evolving changes and transformations modern societies encounter.

Her Highness underscored that these institutions in Sharjah embody the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to establish inclusive and effective developmental frameworks that empower all segments of society, and foster a strong participatory community culture in which the UAE’s journey of accomplishments and progress are in fact a reflection of the contributions and successes of citizens and residents alike.

Her Highness pointed out that The Ruler of Sharjah has always “placed his faith wisely and successfully in humanity to lead the emirate’s development. Today, Sharjah is a hub of development, a capital of culture and knowledge, and a global beacon of humanity. It has proven throughout its journey to be a friend to families, children and the elderly, and a companion of the youth as they work towards achieving their goals. Such a culture automatically encourages the members of the community to fully engage in nation building efforts. This nation has given us so much, and it is our duty to not withhold anything we can offer in return”.

These insights were shared by Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi during the annual meeting organised at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre (JRCC) for the senior leadership, and strategy and quality assurance teams of the 20 entities that fall under Her Highness’s leadership in Sharjah. The meeting’s attendees discussed institutional strategies, development plans and upcoming programmes for all entities, and the anticipated public deliveries and key outcomes expected from each. It also looked into ways of boosting efficiencies within each entity.

Strong families lay the foundations of a powerful community culture to face change

The meeting’s participants explored multi stakeholder strategies that will allow close collaborations between government and private sector entities, enabling them to coalesce their strengths while also drawing from successful global experiences in community development and public service in ways that are aligned with Sharjah’s and the UAE’s local contexts and public requirements.

Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi opined: “We are working towards a strong, multi-sectoral institutional network that will combine specific expertise to fully cater to all segments of society and carry out their developmental roles, both locally and globally. Our goal has always been to design public services that nurture families, strengthen familial bonds and champion family values. If families remain united amidst changes, our identity remains intact, and our motivation to make positive contributions is firmly established. Strong families lay the foundations of a powerful community culture to face change”.

Women’s issues are deeply interconnected with development and progress

Regarding the emirate’s entities that are dedicated to upskilling, empowering and building the capabilities of women in the UAE and worldwide, Her Highness noted: “Our journey in empowering women has demonstrated that women’s issues are not isolated; they are deeply interconnected with development, and heavily impact the level of growth we achieve. Supporting women does not imply that they require any more special care than men. It reiterates the essentiality of diversity and inclusion at workplaces and in society. This logic is equally applicable for child and youth development entities that are responsible for future generations from both genders. Ultimately, the prosperity of communities begins with nurturing children and cultivating a culture that acquaints them with their rights and duties”.

Humanity is an acquired quality

During the meeting, Her Highness also discussed Sharjah’s leading humanitarian role, reflected in the successful strategies and programmes of The Big Heart Foundation (TBHF), and other Sharjah-based entities working under philanthropic sector. Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi emphasised that safeguarding the dignity of others, particularly those in need, signifies not only respect for others but also a deep care for personal dignity because humanity is not an inherent quality but one that individuals acquire through their actions, contributions and stances. Her Highness commended the support of Sharjah’s community, as well as individuals and institutions throughout the UAE, for their contributions to the humanitarian projects born within the country’s borders, organised and sponsored by its social and official institutions.

Future vision

Regarding the future of institutional work, in Sharjah and beyond, Her Highness said: “Life is in a constant state of development, and we must strive to be leaders rather than followers, anticipating the future and preparing ourselves accordingly. The challenges and aspirations of yesterday are not the same as those of today. Therefore, every institution must demonstrate creativity in drawing their plans and strategies, continually updating practices, thinking innovatively, and refreshing work processes. Time rewards those who keep pace with it and respects those who are ahead of it. We aspire to achieve qualitative milestones for our institutions at every stage, and our experience has shown that we have institutions capable of accomplishing just that.”

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi meets annually with the leaders of the entities that fall under her leadership, including top-ranking officials and department managers to assess progress, discuss future plans and programmes, and provide guidance on developing new tools and mechanisms. With each annual meeting, Her Highness aims to highlight the achievements and developmental roles of the institutions to serve the country and the world better.