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Three Gallaudet English Language Institute (ELI) students were invited by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to participate in the May 14, 2011 UAE Healthy Kidney 10K race in New York City’s Central Park. The 7th annual race was sponsored by the UAE Embassy and the New York Road Runners.

Manea Al Kaabi, Adel Al-Hosani, and Ahmed Mohammed Al Kaabi, ELI students from the UAE who are now enrolled in the intensive English and ASL program at Gallaudet, ran in the race alongside more than 6,000 runners, including representatives from their home country’s embassy. The race is held annually in memory of an honored member of UAE government, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was the first president of the UAE–from 1966 until his death in 2004. As a kidney patient himself, he underwent treatment in the United States, including a kidney transplant in 2000 at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Because of the excellent care he received for kidney disease in the United States, the race was established and “seeks to promote education about and awareness of kidney health through its support of the National Kidney Foundation.”

Gallaudet’s Center for International Programs and Services (CIPS) promotes close relationships between the University and the embassies that represents its international students. Gallaudet representatives and the three ELI students were delighted to get the chance to watch the race and honor the memory of the late President Zayed, as well as support the fight against kidney disease. The students enjoyed the experience, and it will become an annual event for CIPS and the University’s international students.

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