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Saif bin Zayed Inaugurates Civil Defense and Modern Media Conference

In conjunction with the World Civil Defense Day

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - Tuesday, March 1st 2016 [ME NewsWire]

Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior inaugurated on Tuesday morning, the Civil Defense and Modern Media Conference. The conference is organized by the Civil Defense General Directorate at the Ministry of Interior in Abu Dhabi, and coincides with the World Civil Defense Day.

Major General Jassem Muhammad Al Marzouqui, Civil Defense General Commander-in-chief said: “The conference discussed the basic role of civil defense and civil protection organizations in handling catastrophes and their outcomes, as well as the latest developments win this regard.” He added that the conference is an opportunity to revitalize and renew educational campaigns and preventive instructions about fires and other risks.

Major General Al Marzouqui indicated that the Civil Defense sector has approved the “Community Awareness and Training Plan for 2016”. . The plan aims to spread the culture of safety and preventive awareness amongst community members according to comprehensive media programs. It also aims to reinforce partnership with both public and private sector institutions, and volunteer organizations, so as to achieve the civil defense’s strategic goals; notably boosting prevention awareness in society and ensuring speed of response to emergencies and public disasters.

Major General Al Marzouqui emphasized importance of the media in spreading community awareness and social development. He noted that the rapid development witnessed by the media sector is knowledge-driven and a direct result of development in communication technologies.

The official inauguration ceremony was attended by Lt. General Saif Abdullah Al Sha’far, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and Head of the Permanent Higher Commission for Internal Security; Major General Dr. Nasser Lakhrebani Al Nuaimi, Secretary General of the Office of HH Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; Major General Khalifa Hareb Al Khaiaili, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior for Naturalization, Residency and Ports Affairs; and Major General Mohammed bin Al Awadhi Al Menhali, Assistant Undersecretary of Resources and Support Services. Also attending were Major General Ahmed Nasser Al Raisi, Inspector General of the Ministry of Interior; Major General Abdul Aziz Maktoum Al Shareefi, Director General of Protective Security in the Ministry of Interior; Major General Salem Mubarak Al Shamesi, Director General of Finance and Services at the Ministry of Interior; and a number of senior officers and experts.

The attendees watched two documentary films. The first documentary highlighted the numerous achievements and efforts of the Civil Defense bodies and Civil Defense Academy. It also provided an overview of the cutting-edge systems adopted in the qualification and training process. The second documentary shed the light on the experience of the participating countries, notably the USA, UK, and Germany, in the field of firefighting.

Munthir Ali Al Shamesi showcased his experience in attracting followers via social media and how he garnered thousands of shares from various sectors to mark the World Civil Defense Day and highlight the vital role of Civil Defense in promoting protection and safety in society. He also showed a short video, which documents the opinion and views of community members regarding the essential role played by the civil defense.

During the first session, Dr. Khaled Al Khajah, Dean of Information and Media College at Ajman University of Science and Technology, discussed the role of the new community-based media and its impact on society. He underlined the significant impact of the media on society and the difference between new and traditional media. he noted that the new media  by involving individuals in providing and receiving information. He said: “The new media has empowered social relations and communication, and enabled the transfer of experiences and expertise of other communities and nations.” He also called for utilizing community-based media for the service of society by providing education in vocational training, innovation, arts, scientific research, and the exchange of information amongst students, as well as training to achieve occupational development.

For her part, Dr. Sharifa Al Marzouqui, Assistant Professor at the College of Communication at Sharjah University, stressed the commitment of the government sector to avail of social media; and to respond to individuals’ inquiries or comments in order to realize interaction with them. She also reviewed the mechanism of information transfer via modern media and noted that communication has allowed round-the-clock interaction between staff members and customers.

Furthermore, Ms. Al Marzouqi pointed out that the electronic and digital methods of communication have reshaped the media and communication landscape across all societies, thanks to important specifications, such as speed of access, interaction, and low costs. “Government institutions currently look at social media as a mirror that reflects the institution’s image and the means to transfer information directly and quickly,” she added.

For her part, Afraa’ Al Rashidi, Media Division Director at Majid Al Futtaim Leisure and Entertainment, underscored the importance of the media in facilitating community education and guidance.

The first session was moderated by renowned Saudi TV host,media figure, Dr. Sulaiman Al-Hattlan of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Al-Hattlan underlined the significant role of social networking sites and their influence on society.

The participants reviewed the important role of government and community institutions in investing positively in the media for the benefit of all segments of society. They also underscored the importance of availing the media departments at the various civil defense agencies to broadcast awareness and prevention programs across the different community institutions, from kindergartens and schools, up to labor camps and government departments. Moreover, the attendees tackled the importance of innovation in the effort to communicate with socially-active community segments; they also called for making use of social networking platforms that have become a popular means to transfer and share information and news.

The second session shed light on the experiences of a number of experts and specialists in civil defense, including Brian Cox, firefighting engineer from Coffs Harbor, USA; Sven Geissler, Germany, Strategy and Development Director, Firefighting and Rescue; and Gus O'Rourke, Operational Policy & Assurance at Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service. The list of experts also included Salvatore J. Cassano, Fire Commissioner from New York City. The experts gave an overview of their expertise in the field of civil defense, the role of the media in spreading the culture of prevention, the best practices and tools to disseminate the safety concepts, and identifying the latest incident management techniques.

During the conference, Major General Jassem Muhammad Al Marzouqui, Civil Defense General Commander-in-chief at the Ministry of Interior distributed commemorative gifts to the participating entities and sponsors. He also honored the moderators of the sessions, as well as the experts and lecturers that took part in the conference.

Boxed Text

Launching the #World Civil Defense Day Hashtag

The participants in the “Civil Defense and Modern Media Conference” launched the hashtag #Shukran_Lil_Difa3_Al_Madani on social networking sites to mark the UAE celebrations of the World Civil Defense Day. This gesture underlines the importance community members’ participation and enhances their interaction with civil defense members. It also recognizes their efforts in promoting protection and safety.

Participants called upon users of social networking sites to share their proposals and views, so as to achieve the coveted goals and strengthen security and safety of the community and the culture of fire prevention.

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The Arabic-language text of this announcement is the official, authoritative version. Translations are provided as an accommodation only, and should be cross-referenced with the Arabic-language text, which is the only version of the text intended to have legal effect.


The UAE Minister of Interior's General Secretariat, Tactical Affairs and Security Media Department

Abu Dhabi Police GHQ - Security Media

Chris Cron +971-(0)-50-666-4891







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