Exhibition showcases 38 years of Shaikh Zayed’s rule

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Exhibition showcases 38 years of Shaikh Zayed’s rule

Painting exhibition in Ras Al Khaimah pays tribute to the fathers of the nations of the UAE and India.

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Published: Sun 20 Oct 2013, 12:26 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 6:38 PM

Indian artist Akbar Saheb completed a series of 38 paintings symbolising 38 years of rule by late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 2004.

Prasad Sreedharan, Akbar Saheb, Shaikh Sultan bin Jamal Al Qasimi and Kudikkunnil Suresh, Indian Minister of State for Labour, touring the exhibition titled Tribute to the Legends at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development auditorium in Ras Al Khaimah. -supplied photos

Painted in oil on 4.5x6 foot canvas, these paintings were, however, never exhibited anywhere as Akbar couldn’t fulfil his dream of gifting them to Shaikh Zayed, though he had completed the work before the demise of the former president of the UAE.

Almost 10 years later, the series went on display for the first time at a recent event in Ras Al Khaimah.

Two dozen paintings that portray Shaikh Zayed’s vision on various areas of development were included in the exhibition that paid tribute to the fathers of the nations of the UAE and India under the title “Tribute to the Legends”.

The idea of painting the series on Shaikh Zayed struck Akbar in 1997. “My fascination for Shaikh Zayed is almost obsessive. Inspired by the vision of this great leader and his commitment towards the rapid development of the UAE, I have paid a loving homage to Shaikh Zayed through 38 paintings, each of which symbolises a year of the late President’s glorious rule.”

A Mangalorean, Akbar, now 50, spent years studying the life of Shaikh Zayed, reading every word about him and following each and every glorious achievement.

“My 38 inspirational themes are painted one for each year of his rule, from 1966 to 2004. All these paintings were completed before the sad demise of Shaikh Zayed. It was my fervent wish to present the late President with the full set of paintings. Alas! it was not to be so.”

An illustrator with a leading advertising agency in Dubai for 17 years, Akbar believes that these paintings are a visual tribute that tell the story of this great leader who helped not only in giving the UAE a strong global recognition and forge regional bonding, but also brought the people of the UAE together in a warm embrace.

Prasad Sreedharan, coordinator of the event, said the great visionaries are being honoured and remembered to mark the International Non-Violence Day, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation of India, that falls on October 2.

“We felt it is apt to do something to pay tributes to fathers of both the nations who are equally revered by all of us,” said Prasad.

Akbar’s paintings on Mahatma Gandhi depict his ideologies of non-violence and peace. A couple of other paintings exhibited portrayed the rich cultural relations between the UAE and India. The event also featured portraits of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Highness Shaikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah; and his father late Shaikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi.

Shaikh Sultan bin Jamal Al Qasimi of the Ruler’s Court in Ras Al Khaimah inaugurated the exhibition organised by Sevanam Social Club under the patronage of the Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi.

As part of the event, directors of six government departments in 
Ras Al Khaimah were honoured for their humanitarian support to the expatriate community living in the emirate.

Indian ministers, officials from the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Indian Consulate in Dubai and UAE officials were also present.

Held at the auditorium of the Ministry of Culture, Youth 
and Community Development in Ras Al Khaimah, the exhibition also gave an opportunity for hundreds of school students to have glimpses into the history of the UAE and India.


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