If you don’t speak Arabic, this is one occasion where you’ll wish you’d learned the language, just to understand the passionate power of the word ‘Takatof’. It stirs up strong emotions and literally means “togetherness”. And togetherness is exactly what we witnessed during our management of the Takatof event. It was held under the royal patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Founder of this inspiring initiative.

When we won the pitch, we knew we had a big responsibility… but we didn’t realize just how big until the event, when we were astonished and astounded to see thousands of participants selflessly dedicating hundreds of their hours to voluntary work. A lot of countries pride themselves in their patriotism, but this event proved that patriotism isn’t just about waving a tiny flag at home, but actually putting your heart, sweat and time on the line.

What was especially inspiring is that a very small team made an enormous difference by putting together hundreds of activities throughout the year. One person can indeed make a national difference. When you consider that many of these volunteers are quite young (as is their leader Maitha Al Habsi), you suddenly feel an overwhelming rush of faith in this nation’s future. It’s not that these youngsters don’t have anything more important to do. It’s that there is nothing more important to them than national spirit.

This has inspired us to give something back to our homeland; and we encourage you to do the same, in your own unique way. You don’t need a fancy event… because every day we can celebrate our own Takatof.