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HRH Princess Haya Pays Tribute to the Late Nelson Mandela


Photo: Dubai Media Office

She is a noted philanthropist and UN Messenger of Peace who, in her lengthy career advocating for others, met one of the world’s most iconic humanitarians. And this week HRH Princess Haya bint Hussein paid tribute to the late Nelson Mandela on the anniversary of his passing, 10 years after they first met. Sharing an image of herself with the former South African President, the Jordanian royal, who is married to HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, captioned the shot with a stirring quote from Mandela himself. “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead,” Princess Haya told her 419,000 Instagram followers.

HRH uploaded the image on July 18, on what would have been Mandela’s 100th birthday. The politician passed away on December 5, 2013, five years after Princess Haya made a visit to South Africa to raise awareness of paediatric cardiac wellness. HRH and Mandela visited the Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Foundation in 2008, meeting with doctors who perform live-saving surgeries.

The philanthropic foundation was created to raise funds for underprivileged children with congenital heart defects that need treatment, state news agency WAM reported at the time, as well as help train doctors and nurses. “Throughout my personal work and in my role as UN Messenger of Peace, I am committed to the betterment of the lives of under-privileged children around the world, particularly the sick and the hungry. It is a tremendous honor to meet Mandela and give support to the legacy of Walter Sisulu on this very unique project,” Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein said during her visit.

The royal also mused on the anti-apartheid icon on his birthday last year, revealing that working with Mandela was “one of the greatest honors of my life”. “Madiba was a different kind of freedom fighter, a different kind of politician, a different kind of philanthropist and a different kind of human being: his dedication to leaving the world a better place and his belief in the fundamental good of humanity knew no bounds,” Princess Haya posted on Facebook. “In his presence, people felt moved to do more; to give more; to be more.”

To mark Mandela’s centenary, this year’s Global Citizen festival has been created in collaboration with the House of Mandela, and will be entitled Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 to honor the political leader and philanthropist. The music event, which will be held in Johannesburg on December 2, will include performances from Beyoncé, Chris Martin, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams, and Usher.

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