Young and old, inexperienced and veteran, runners from all walks of life came to support a local initiative for People of Determination. Following a Federal Decree, people with special needs are referred to as People of Determination in the UAE. The UAE has a strong inclusive spirit, with a strong and active agenda to integrate all segments of society, including people with special needs. A number of rehabilitation centers, as well as government and community initiatives support the needs of People of Determination all over the UAE. Among these community initiatives, is the Unity Run at Dubai Silicon Oasis, sponsored by the national bank, Emirates NBD.
The volunteering spirit of the Ismaili community was very much in evidence during the Unity Run, with the Aga Khan Scouts and Guides (AKSG) playing a prominent role, including assisting with registration, distributing certificates, and stepping in wherever required. Moreover, the Run opened to the strains of the AKSG band. This prompted the AKSG Band Captain, Nabeel Shiraz to comment: “It was impressive to see thousands of participants joining this noble cause early on a Friday morning. The participants were from many different nationalities, cultures and age group. The AKSG is proud to have its volunteers giving service, making sure the program ran smoothly with it’s Band, kicking off the run officially.