ABU DHABI 1st January, 2018: A UAE newspaper has said that a whole year may not be enough to commemorate the birth centenary of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the UAE, who remains a towering personality to this day.
“In this Year of Zayed, the country remembers his contributions with a sense of gratitude and pride,” said the English language daily, Khaleej Times, in an editorial on Monday.
The paper went on to say, “But why Zayed, we may ask. He transformed lives in the wilderness those days through his message of living together in harmony – what we today call tolerance and coexistence. He made people discover themselves and the world around them through his determination to unite the Emirates. The desert did not deter him and his grand vision for the country that he saw through gentle, compassionate eyes.
“Back then, Sheikh Zayed envisioned the UAE as a global soft power that was focused only on development and the realisation of human potential. We can say with certainty now that it has delivered on the Founding Father’s ideals. His was the politics of positive contribution rather than confrontation, the main reason why the UAE has weathered many geopolitical storms as other nations were gripped by sectarian, religious and political discord.
The UAE welcomed people, gave them tools to prosper and contribute to the region and beyond. The country’s vast richness in oil was used to build, rise and trade. It was a significant socio-cultural and economic shift from the conflicts that roiled the region those days when oil was used to drive a wedge between peoples and countries.
“In the UAE today, people from other countries and races are partners in goodwill. They thrive and go on to make their mark as prosperous and progressive individuals. Cultural and business interactions are encouraged. Commerce is booming. This is a modern Arab and Muslim state that is striving to become the hub of modern civilisation. It is fair and neutral, and offers the finest ideals and individuals from the East and the West.
The Dubai-based daily concluded by saying, “Indeed, it is a reservoir of talent and positive energy as it espouses just causes and remains a beacon of hope in a world that many believe has lost its moorings. Sheikh Zayed’s moral compass continues to guide this country as it remains grounded in its ideals, confident in the power of change that it will spearhead.”