Martyrs' Day holiday : Commemoration Day United Arab Emirates

Martyrs' Day holiday : Commemoration Day United Arab Emirates





Commemoration Day or Martyrs' Day (Arabic: يوم الشهيد yawm ash-shahiid) will be marked annually on November 30 in the United Arab Emirates, recognising the sacrifices and dedication of Emirati martyrs who have given their life in the UAE and abroad in the field of civil, military and humanitarian service


History



The first Emirati soldier to die in the line of duty was Salem Suhail bin Khamis, on November 30, 1971, during the "battle of the Greater Tunb” against Iranian forces shortly before the UAE’s formation. Bin Khamis led a six-member police force on Greater Tunb, invaded by Iran on the eve of Federation. He refused to lower the flag of Ras Al Khaimah, and the invaders killed him for his defiance.


On August 19, 2015, it was announced that 30 November would be observed as Martyrs Day.



It is a time of remembrance for those who have sacrificed their lives in the service of their country. Schools will close and both government and private-sector workers will have the day as a paid day off.


UAE National Day, much akin to Independence Day in the United States, falls nearby Martyr's Day, on 2 December. Whenever UAE public holidays are both preceded and followed by a week day, they can be moved to the beginning or end of the week to make a long weekend. Hence, Martyr's Day 2015 provides back-to-back days off for both private and public workers. Public workers will be off for 5 consecutive days, from 1 to 5 December.


Although Martyr's Day will commemorate the fallen in civil and humanitarian services, its emphasis is clearly on military "martyrs". The reason for choosing November 30th for the holiday is that the first UAE soldier to die in defense of his country occurred on this date. It was during the Battle of Greater Tunb, when Iran attempted to seize offshore Emirati islands just prior to the nation's formal unification on December 1st and 2nd. The first martyr was then killed by Iranians after he refused to lower his Emirate's flag and submit to the invaders.


Other fallen servicemen who will be remembered include those who died liberating Kuwait during the First Gulf War and the 45 who have recently died in the Saudi-led alliance against Iranian intervention in Yemen. This last-named conflict was still ongoing in 2015 and is known as Operation Restoring Hope.


There will be many ceremonies and events organized by local governments in observance of Marytr's Day. In every Emirate and every city, there will remembrances of fallen heroes and their acts of heroism. Both Emirati citizens and the large expatriate community will be invited to participate in these tributes.


There are many monuments already being planned that will honor the nation's martyrs. A memorial square to the martyrs, for example, is slated to be built in Al Alam Park in the Emirate of Ajman. the adjacent Emirate of Sharjah will also construct a special square to honor the martyrs. Sharjah will further erect a monument on Maliha Road, which it hopes will be ready for dedication on the upcoming first Martyr's Day. A road in Sharjah University City is to be renamed Martyr's Road, and the street linking the Emirates of Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah will be renamed Martyrs Street.



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