United in Destiny: Zayed; the Dream was the topic of discussion of the Ramadan council hosted by HE Ali bin Salem Al Kaabi, Secretary of the office of H.H. Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Family Development Foundation on Tuesday evening. The council, which was held in Abu Dhabi, was attended by a large gathering of UAE citizens.

The council is part of the initiative launched by the Ministry of Interior, represented by the Law Respect Culture Bureau, the General Secretariat of the Office of H.H Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, to convene such councils in order to discuss important laws and national topics of interest to the public.  During the council, participants discussed the efforts of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in advancing the UAE and building a modern Emirates, highly committed to its religious and cultural heritage. They also tackled the extraordinary qualities that made a great leader of him, in his quest to achieve his dream of creating a strong, rich country with reasonable weight on the world arena. Attendees also talked about the way to follow in the footsteps of late Sheikh Zayed, in order to embody his dream and instill his approach in the hearts of the new generations, as well as to acquaint them with the foundations he relied upon to fulfill his dream.

The council was moderated by poet and media personality Mr. Habib Al Sayegh, Chairman of the Emirates Writers Union’s Board of Directors and adviser at Dar Al Khaleej, who praised the Ramadan councils organized by the Ministry of Interior, represented by the Law Respect Culture Bureau, stressing that convening such councils is an opportunity to submit and exchange views and to promote cooperation between the ministry and the various society institutions in the UAE.   

He also recited two poetry verses about late Sheikh Zayed:

Even in death, Sheikh Zayed’s legacy is a blessing in disguise
This contributes to our prosperity and wellness with each passing day.
His qualities almost gave away his class,
And his good deeds are bound to guarantee him a place in heaven.

Al Sayegh added, “There are five different councils held across Abu Dhabi today. Ours is particularly special because it talks about a distinguished personality that lives in our hearts and minds at all times. Our council sheds light on late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhyan, the great leader who made the dream come true; and established the United Arab Emirates, which prides itself today of ranking amongst the most advanced nations, in terms of prosperity, development, modernity and humanitarian role.”

He added, “words fall short of expression to extol the very many virtues of  of late Sheikh Zayed. We are talking about a man who turned the impossible into a reality. A man who endeavored to achieve the unity of the country’s seven Emirates, and establishing a political, economic, intellectual and social renaissance, inspired by his exceptional character.” He stressed that late Sheikh Zayed’s vision and leadership approach have become a role model on the regional and global levels.

Al Sayegh highlighted the achievements and national gains achieved by the UAE, thanks to the efforts of the founding father late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhyan, complemented by the wise leadership and vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. He also shed light on the successes and superiority attained by the UAE in all fields, compared with other Arab nations with similar economic capabilities. He also pointed that the wonders made by the UAE in all fields, are a living proof that development and progress of civilization are mainly based on a solid human pillar. And this exactly what makes the many virtues of His Highness late Sheikh Zayed.  

The council recommended that academic curricula should commemorate Sheikh Zayed’s efforts and achievements in building the Union. They should also focus on teaching students that the path towards the realization of the Union was rugged and difficult. The council also recommended authorizing an institution or a national commission to redrafting the history and experience of the Union as well as the valuable role of Sheikh Zayed before and after the Union, to be based on national documents and true stories told by UAE citizens.

The Council called for enhancing individual national efforts to create a large museum to commemorate Sheikh Zayed’s life. Participants emphasized the need to be inspired by his high morals and to work by his instructions, as well as show keenness to take the lead to achieve the best interest of the country. They also stressed the importance of unity as the best tool to maintain the precious gains that have been achieved thanks to Sheikh Zayed, who was a path-breaking leader and a pacesetter in implementing this approach.

Participants at the council praised the Ministry of Interior’s initiative to organize Ramadan councils and its role in boosting patriotism and encouraging discussion and the exchange of views on issues of concerns to the country and its citizens.

HE Ali Al Kaabi gave the welcome speech, by which he expressed his delight and pride to host this Ramadan Council to talk about a highly revered personality. “We are fortunate to have been contemporaries of Sheikh Zayed, who toiled diligently through his wisdom and his able stewardship to achieve a unified country. He dedicated his efforts throughout his life to serve his country and his citizens. His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and his brothers their Highnesses members of the Union Supreme Council, Rulers of the Emirates have proven to be worthy successors to the best predecessor, and are endeavoring  diligently so that the UAE maintains a prominent stature among world nations,” said Al Kaabi.

Saeed Mohammed Bilkalila Al Ameri, Sheikh Zayed’s squire, said: “Words fall short of expression to extol his many virtues.  His actions were significant and far-reaching, and the achievements he made for his country and its people are nothing short of a miracle by any standards”.

For his part, Saeed Obaid Al Kaabi, UAE Ambassador to Libya, noted that history saw the birth of the UAE Union because of the will, determination and wisdom of the founding father,  despite the difficulties and the little resources available to him at that time, thus becoming the most loved and revered national hero for every citizen. Al Kaabi also stressed that the founding father made a lot of effort to promote the progress of the Union and ensure the welfare of citizens.

Abdullah Mohammed Ali Al Kaabi, Member of the National Advisory Council in Abu Dhabi, indicated that Sheikh Zayed was a pioneering statesman known for his courage and foresight. “When he came to power in Abu Dhabi, he gave his instructions to establish a road network and told experts that he wanted a road that links Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, capable of more of withstanding than 100 tons loadings capacity, and this is testament to his foresight and wisdom.”

For his part, Abu Dhabi-based historian Dr. Faleh Al Hanzal said, “Sheikh Zayed was an exemplary national leader; his works bear   witness to his achievements for the benefit of his country and people. He was able to turn the country’s self-governed emirates into a solid Union, ultimately establishing the UAE Government. Late Sheikh Zayed has created the free-market economy and increased per capita investment opportunities in the UAE. He often wondered why the Union has achieved success in the UAE and failed in other places. I think I can answer that; the UAE Union was built on sound and solid ground. Moreover, amongst the most important achievements by late Sheikh Zayed is that he dedicated his life to the construction of men, , and today, there are more than 25 oil firms run by Emiratis across the UAE.”

In conclusion, he said: “It’s about time to write about Sheikh Zayed’s contribution to the emergence of nations”.

Khalid bin Issa Al Issa tackled the history of education in the UAE. “Late Sheikh Zayed encouraged education and allowed Arab expertise to contribute to it”. He Added: “Sheikh Zayed is first of all the nice person, the unmatched leader and a visionary who inspires each Emirati household. He is regarded as the teacher and a role model for visionary approaches. He is the pillar upon which the progress and prosperity of the UAE are built.”

UAE Artist Mohammed Al Atsad said: “Late Sheikh Zayed may not be of this world anymore, but he remains alive through his ideas, achievements, and offerings to his country and people. He was interested in art and exhibitions, and presently, many Emirati artists exhibit their artwork in international galleries and the UAE is regarded as a global hub for arts and culture and the home to branches of well known museums including the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi.”

For his part, Mubarak bin Ghmad Al Rashdi said: “Late Sheikh Zayed is a role model for all citizens, who draw inspiration of his actions and live by his words.” Saeed Bin Ghmad Al Rashdi noted: “Sheikh Zayed is alive in our hearts, because he provided us with a developed country that is on par with most advanced nations. We thank Allah Almighty for his Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and his brothers who are following in his footsteps.”

Abdullah Rashid Al Kaabi indicated that great men make history, “Late Sheikh Zayed, the sage of the Arab world has made history thanks to his high principles and values. He dedicated himself to serve his country and his people.” He noted that he owns more than 300 books about Sheikh Zayed, calling to establish a citation exhibition about him.

Jumaa Saeed Al Kaabi, lauded the initiative of the Ministry of Interior in organizing Ramadan councils saying: “We take pride in the safety and security enjoyed by the UAE thanks to the wise leadership of Sheikh Zayed and the nation’s leaders who followed in his footsteps.”

Poet Hamdan Al Kaabi noted that no words are enough to describe late Sheikh Zayed and would need more than one council. “He was a man of his word. His achievements and good deeds will be immortalized in history,” concluded Al Kaabi.

At the end of the Ramadan Council, participants asked Allah Almighty to bestow his mercy on Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s soul and rest him in eternal peace, taking into account the many accomplishments he made for his country, his people and the entire world. The participants also asked God to protect His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and grant him health and wellness.

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