Zayed: Immortal spirit in the memory and conscience of the nation and citizens

WAM ABU DHABI, 27th July, 2013 (WAM) — Tomorrow, the nineteenth of Ramadan 1434 Hijri, is the ninth anniversary of the death of the founding father of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the builder of the UAE’s renaissance and pride, whose spirit will be alive and immortal in the memory and the conscience of the nation and citizens and the hearts and souls of Arab and Islamic nation, after a life devoted to work with dedication and sincerity to serve his country, his people, Arab and Islamic countries and humanity as a whole.

Sheikh Zayed maintained his generosity for 66 years in the interest of the nation, from when he became the Ruler’s Representative of Al Ain city in the eastern region in 1946, to assuming the reins of power in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi on the 6th August, 1966, and subsequently being elected president of the country after the announcement of the formation of the UAE on the second of December 1971.

Sheikh Zayed devoted his life to building his country and serving its citizens and dedicated himself to helping to achieve their dreams and aspirations.

The magnificent celebrations of the 41st National Day last year embodied clearly and honestly the UAE’s people love of the late Sheikh Zayed.

Speaking on the occasion, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan said, ” On the 2nd of December, we celebrate our 41st National Day, marking a great occasion to enhance the culture of citizenry, deepen our love for our nation, confirm our enduring loyalty and strengthen cohesion and communication between the people and its leadership.

“On this historic day, we recall, with gratitude, the efforts of our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his late brothers the members of the Supreme Council, whose unstinting efforts led to the upholding of the principles of a country of which we are all proud and defend its sovereignty. We pray that their souls may rest in peace.

“The declaration of the Union represented a historical moment. Our forefathers formed this country based on piety and the most noble of ethics, devoting themselves to the interests of the people and the nation. We are following their path, affirming that justice is the basis of governance, ensuring the rule of law, achieving social equality and providing a decent life: all these form the pillars of society and are fundamental rights, guaranteed by the Constitution and protected by a fair and independent judiciary.

“On this day, we call for further collective efforts to strengthen our march. Protection of the Union is an indisputable national objective. Awareness, unity and cohesion are required in order to uphold its values, to consolidate its pillars, and to sustain continuous co-operation between the federal and local agencies.” A year earlier, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan said on the occasion of the 40th National Day celebrations that, “The festive atmosphere in all parts of the country reflected the spirit of the Union, which was instilled in all of us by the founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and the pioneer rulers.

“The Union that is with us today, in terms of political achievement and socio-economic reality, was neither a gift or a grant and was not an easy achievement. Rather, it was the fruit of a good tree planted by our fathers who dreamed of the idea with hope, took care of it with their dedication to raise the flag of the Union as high as they could and strengthened its pillars. They are really the spirit of the Union; from their life and history, generations will draw lessons and will continue to carry out the responsibility under the eyes of a glorious nation that takes pride in its past, its giving present and its promising future”, His Highness added.

Never Forgotten Sheikh Zayed has not been forgotten either in the memory of the homeland or the conscience of the nation’s leadership and people; the approach he laid down in all areas of work remains a beacon guiding the leadership and the nation to follow his footsteps. The memory of his spirit remains present in every achievement accomplished by the UAE on national and global levels.

In a statement made on the occasion of celebrating the top ranking in terms of Government Efficiency, which the UAE achieved in the Global Competitiveness Yearbook 2013, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa said, “On this day, we recall with gratitude the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his brothers the founding fathers. We are enjoying today the fruits of their hard work and dedication. Our country is ranked number one globally in government efficiency, social cohesion, and attitudes and values. Additionally, the UAE is ranked fifth globally in the Employment and sixth in Management Practices, achieving an impressive progression and becoming among the top 10 most competitive nations in the world.” His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on the same occasion said in a speech to the Cabinet meeting dated June 3rd, 2013, that, ” ”The UAE people deserve to be happy and we are here to deliver achievements that make the people glad and proud of the nation.” Sheikh Mohammed continued “The achievement brought back memories of how the late founding fathers, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, sat in the desert discussing the creation of the Union.” ”The UAE as a country was born amidst many suspicions and tremendous challenges that our fathers faced. Its structure was built and the country takes the lead amongst the community of nations,” he added.

Sheikh Mohammed said that President Khalifa was maintaining the course of the founding fathers, taking care of every citizen and bringing development to every corner of the nation.

”Khalifa is our leader, who is unifying efforts, mobilising energies, supporting initiatives and building the nation,” Sheikh Mohammed added “We have placed our confidence in UAE citizens, and today we are reaping the fruits of excellence in many fields.” He went on to say that employees have huge energies that should be released through continuous development and change.

He emphasised, “The UAE people will not be satisfied except with first place, Zayed and Rashid instilled on us the love of being No. 1, whenever we climb a peak we look forward for another one.” Day of Humanitarian Work The Cabinet approved, in its meeting dated November 27th, 2012 on the occasion of the 41st National Day, a set of national initiatives to commemorate Sheikh Zayed and the founding fathers, one of these initiatives is to dedicate the 19th day of Ramadan, which marks the death anniversary of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as “Emirati Humanitarian Work Day” in recognition of his role in founding the UAE’s humanitarian march.

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said that, “It was from the Union House it started, and from here we renew the march. We haven’t gathered here to commemorate the memories. We are here to renew our resolve, to sharpen our energies and to recall the spirit of the big ambition that the founding fathers cherished. We are here to remember the great vision that led to the birth of a country, which could consolidate its global place during forty-one years. It is with the same spirit and the same great ambition we can proceed with confidence and strength towards the future”.

He continued, “The most important characteristic of the founding fathers and the most important lesson we learned from them is that the citizen is the priority, and we should give importance to building humans before building edifices. The approach of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan is that the citizen comes first, second and third. As we move further ahead according to this approach, we say that the achievements of 2013 will surpass the achievements of 2012 and each year is better than the preceding one. So there is no place for laziness or reluctance in achieving the ambitions of our people. We announce today from this place that the year 2013 will be a year of creating jobs for UAE nationals, that will be a national priority for which all efforts must unite”.

Sheikh Mohammed went on, ” The spirit of the Union is to work as a single team in accordance with a unified vision and well-defined goals, and naturally the achievements will take place. May I remind you of a very famous saying of our beloved father, the late Sheikh Zayed, who said, ‘The human being will perish, the wealth will perish, the nation and our services in the cause of the nation will remain’.” The cabinet also approved a number of national initiatives, the first of which was to declare year 2013 as the year of creating jobs for UAE nationals. The Cabinet also approved the “Charter of Values and Conduct of the UAE National” which aims to raise a national generation who are aware of their responsibilities and duties towards the nation, family and community.

The new charter defines Emirati citizenship, its dimensions, features, major characteristics, conduct, values and skills which a national should uphold. The charter aims to develop a general and clearly-defined frame for Emirati character to reflect its unique culture and connection to its values, traditions, heritage and its religion, Islam. This general frame could be used in different educational and cultural spheres.

The Cabinet also approved a number of initiatives related to the dedication of the UAE National Union Day. These include the construction of the Union Museum at Union House to document the history of the Union, its milestones and major figures for the coming generations. The museum will feature documents, pictures, photos and materials and other resources which will document the history of the Union and its milestones, creating a reference source for researchers, all those interested in the history of the Union as well as for nationals and visitors of the UAE.

In the same context, the Cabinet also approved a resolution giving directives to the Ministry of Education to integrate the History of the Founding Fathers in the national curricula at schools in order to inspire lessons from their march for development and immortalise their works and achievements which, over just a few years, have given the UAE its current international stature.

As part of efforts to promote the UAE national identity at universities, the Cabinet gave directives to the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to introduce “Emirati Studies” as a compulsory subject for graduation from all national and private universities. The new compulsory subject shall include studies on the UAE’s history, social culture, terrains, geography, laws and regulations as well as studies that are specific to society in the UAE.

Regarding the inauguration of “Emirati Humanitarian Work Day” in recognition of Sheikh Zayed’s role, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum commented, “Zayed is the source of giving and generosity. He is the one who planted the love of selfless giving among his people. The man who is credited with this surplus must be remembered on this day. The best way to remember him is to remind ourselves of his compassion, giving and generosity which benefited all with no discrimination and which made the UAE a global humanitarian hub for giving”.

The Emirati Humanitarian Work Day includes the launch of various initiatives by government and private institutions in honour of the occasion, and at the beginning of the month of Ramadan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid launched a campaign to clothe one million deprived children around the world.

The campaign continued until 19th of Ramadan, which marks the ninth anniversary of the death of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

On the occasion of the initiative launch, Sheikh Mohammed emphasised that goodness and giving have become a consistent legacy marked by the goodness of the Emirates in the course of its distinguished humanitarian march to support underprivileged people.

Sheikh Mohammed said, “The Holy Month of Ramadan is an exceptional opportunity to celebrate the values of goodness, giving and cooperation, which increases the importance of launching social and charitable constructive initiatives during the month, especially those initiatives in which the people of the UAE can share and collaborate.

His Highness added that “Since the founding of the UAE by the late Sheikh Zayed and the late Sheikh Rashid, the march of generosity did not stop, because the founders built this country on the basis of giving and helping needy people. Zayed was the source of giving, he was the teacher and the one who inspired the generous people of the UAE, who are an ideal example of efforts and generosity that knows no bounds, and no discrimination.” Sheikh Mohammed said that Ramadan is an opportunity, like other religious occasions, to extend a helping hand to the less privileged, especially children, because they are in need of sympathy and care. The importance of the campaign, is to draw a smile and put happiness on the faces of these underprivileged children.

He added “In the UAE, we have a tradition of goodness, to extend a helping hand to disadvantaged groups in different parts of the world, especially the poor and needy, as well as disadvantaged children regardless of color and race. The spirit of giving is a characteristic of Zayed’s sons and daughters, it is a culture which is deeply rooted in our community.” The initiative aims to collect donations during the Holy Month of Ramadan to supply clothing for 1,000,000 deprived children around the world and support them in the difficult circumstances in which they live.

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