‘National Service changed our lives’
When Najla Al Za’abi signed up for national service with the UAE Armed Forces, she had no idea it would lead to her saving a child’s life.
Al Za’abi spoke to 7DAYS at an event at Zayed University’s Dubai campus to mark Emirati Women’s Day on Sunday. She said: “When I first joined the National Service and entered a room with five strangers, I was shocked.
“It was as if I was living in a five-star hotel and then moved to maybe a one-star hotel or even half a star.
“However, I learned a lot, including selfcontrol, military language, customs and culture.”
Al Za’abi added: “The military environment and culture shaped the way I think and behave even in real life.
“The security perspective that I learned shaped my life practices and political knowledge.
“Once I was on the street, I saw a kid crossing the road and I saw a vehicle speeding.
“I immediately felt the vehicle would run over the child and I ran to save him. “Thankfully, he is alive and safe now.” Aisha Hareb, who also graduated from national service, said: “The national service trains Emirati women on how to defend themselves.
“It also teaches them first aid, time By Nawal Al Ramahi management, working under pressure and more.”
Also taking part in the event were female members of the UAE Armed Forces who climbed the world’s highest peak, Everest, earlier this year. Maitha Al Eissa, who was part of that team, said: “We trained for three and a half years for the climb.
“My whole team and I faced challenges. However, a voice inside kept on telling me that the United Arab Emirates flag will be on the top of Everest, it was extremely encouraging.
“I believe it encouraged each one of us. We supported each other, as well.
“It took us nine days to finish the challenge. We walked at least five hours a day and once we walked for 13 hours. We carried heavy bags due to the lack of oxygen at high altitudes.”
HH Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance and President of Zayed University, said: “I am pleased to celebrate the Emirati Women’s Day with prominent Emirati women, their contributions and achievements highlighted many roles in the UAE.”
END OF SERVICE: HH Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi with women who have completed their national service
RECRUITS: HH Sheikh Mohammed with some of the first women to sign up