Sheikh Zayed and the UAE
Today, November 2 is a memorable day for Emiratis. On this day five years ago, their first President and beloved leader His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan passed away. We had a short assembly today at the college to commemorate him. We watched this very well-done video of United Arab Emirates national anthem.
The honor and respect here for him is big and by all accounts he acheived extraordinary things for the United Arab Emirates and was an extraordinary man.
He came into power in 1966 when the area was still the Trucial States, a pile of separate entities all under British truces. When Britian anounced that they would be withdrawing from the area by 1971, with the leadership of Sheikh Zayed, six emirates agreed to form the United Arab Emirates (the seventh would join a short while later).
On December 2, 1971 the UAE became it’s own nation. We will be celebrating National Day at the college here in one month to commemorate this event. The UAE will be 38 years old, just two years older than me.
H.H. Sheikh Zayed ruled until his death in 2004 and accomplished monumental things for his country and his people. May he rest in peace.
Below are some quotes from His Highness Sheikh Zayed:
“The real asset of any advanced nation is its people, especially the educated ones, and the prosperity and success of the people are measured by the standard of their education.”
“On land and in the sea, our fore-fathers lived and survived in this environment. They were able to do so because they recognised the need to conserve it, to take from it only what they needed to live, and to preserve it for succeeding generations.”
“He who does not know his past cannot make the best of his present and future, for it is from the past that we learn.”
“We must not rely on oil alone as the main source of our national income. We have to diversify the sources of our revenue and construct economic projects that will ensure a free, stable and dignified life for the people.”
“Islam affords women their rightful status, and encourages them to work in all sectors, as long as they are afforded appropriate respect.”
“Islam desists violence practised by terrorists who kill their brethren and commit all despicable actions under the shelter of religion. Islam dissociates itself strictly from these people and their actions.”
For a great tribute check out this: Sheikh Zayed
Here’s the newspaper article about today: the fifth anniversary of his death.