The United Arab Emirates and United States are close friends and strong allies. With shared interests and common values, the UAE and USA work together to promote regional security, create economic prosperity and address pressing global challenges.  


During the reign of His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 2002, I wrote to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Mission to the United Nations for a humanitarian project, which involved collecting sand and soil from other United Nation Member states. After this, I began researching Zayed and found him to be a most amazing person. 


In New York, I have been sharing Zayed's humanity ever since.  It has been a privilege to share the legacy of Sheikh Zayed.  His values are life-long rewards ~ integrity, humanity, perseverance, dedication & patience. 


It's an incredible feeling that in a small way, I was able to foster greater relations between the USA and UAE. The trajectory of this emotion is immeasurable, since I'll soon be able to close out The Zayed Mile during UAE 47th Anniversary on December 2. 


The peace, stability, innovation and coexistence are leading factors that continues to make the UAE a model for humanity.


Don Victor Mooney

a dual national of USA & Equatorial Guinea

My promise at Zayed internment in Abu Dhabi.

Solidarity at Sheikh Maktoom House in Dubai.

Don Mooney begins a bike tour of UAE at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Abu Dhabi (2006).  

Don Mooney spends some time with Red Crescent of Abu Dhabi (2006). 

Don Mooney with the Spirit of Zayed on Goree Island, Senegal (2009).  

Don Mooney's third boat was named Never Give Up (2011). The second and third boat was painted in the national colors of the UAE. 

 On Don Mooney's third attempt to row across the Atlantic Ocean, his boat took on water that ship wrecked him. He survived 14 days in a life raft before being rescued by a cargo ship (2011). 

 At the Islamic Leadership School (ILS) in the Bronx, students and faculty sign a board to commemorate the late Emirati Ruler and founding President. These items and rowing gear later delivererd to UAE Consulate in New York (2016).

Spirit of Zayed in Senegal

For nearly two decades, Don Victor Mooney has continuously shared the legacy of Sheikh Zayed. He named his rowboat in honor of the founding father for a transatlantic row that was aborted early on in 2009; however, that set back didn't discourage him. He named his second boat - Never Give Up - painted in the national colors of the U.A.E. in 2011. He nearly lost his life as that boat took on water and he deployed a life raft that had him drifting for 14 days in the Atlantic Ocean until he was rescued. 


Finally, Don Victor Mooney found victory when he completed his transatlantic row that took an arduous 21 months from the coast of Africa to New York's Brooklyn Bridge in 2015; thereby, keeping the promise he made to Zayed in 2007.

In 2016, he presented his rowing uniform and other items to the U.A.E. Consulate in New York marking the completion of that journey after a ceremony at Islamic Leadership School in the Bronx.


Sheikh Zayed left us a strong legacy of determination, he was action-orientated, said Don Victor Mooney.