Sheikh Zayed accession, a day UAE cherishes forever
Abu Dhabi - The nation fondly remembers the founding father Sheikh Zayed on the occasion of the 52nd anniversary of his accession as Ruler of Abu Dhabi.
Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, said that the 6th of August 1966, the date of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan's accession as the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, will always remain in the hearts and minds of the UAE people.
In her remarks on the occasion of the 52nd anniversary of the accession of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan as Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikha Fatima said that Sheikh Zayed has always emphasised that the real wealth is not material gain, but the investment in people who would eventually build the future of the nation. This was evident from the beginning of his reign in the emirate and his leadership of the federal march since 1971.
She added that the willpower and visionary mind of the Founding Father have transformed the harshness of the past into a bright future with all its modern achievements, which have become a model to be followed in human development and establishing nations.
Sheikha Fatima said that both the UAE men and women are fortunate to be led by the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; emphasising that this leadership has followed the approach of the late leader in providing all means of progress and support.
She added that Sheikh Zayed has made a miracle on the UAE's land, which is clear through statistics and reports of international organisations. She noted that this miracle is one of the experiences that can only be achieved with the will and determination that many leaders do not have, where Sheikh Zayed possessed a deep faith and a wise vision as well as boundless love for his homeland and people.
Sheikha Fatima pointed out that Sheikh Zayed gave all opportunities to Emirati women to learn and participate in the development process, until they reached today high positions in public and private sectors, occupying more than 66 per cent of jobs in the country, including 30 per cent in decision-making positions.
"On this day, which is renewed every year in my memory, I believe that the wisdom of Almighty God made 6th August, the beginning of a new historical phase in our lives, a great transformation and a transition from the past to the prosperous present," she added. Today, the 6th of August, the UAE marks the 52nd anniversary of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan's accession as Ruler of Abu Dhabi.
Highlights of the legacy of Zayed leadership
Since this momentous occasion, the UAE's development journey began to take shape, with the Union forming shortly after on December 2, 1971, under the leadership of the Founding Father, a model for wise and tolerant leadership, and diplomatic prowess.
Sheikh Zayed succeeded in achieving his people's aspirations for unity and stability. As a result of his exceptional leadership, the UAE was able to make great strides in its development journey.
The 6th August 1966 represents Sheikh Zayed's accession as the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, but also his influence in strengthening Arab bonds during a time when regional political turmoil was at a high.
Early on, Sheikh Zayed realised the necessity behind extending bridges of cooperation and communication with all Arab nations, hence his taking on the monumental journey in August 1974 across the Arab Maghreb countries, including Tunisia, Morocco, Libya and Egypt, laying the foundations for substantial diplomatic and political ties.
During the 1976 Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sheikh Zayed affirmed the UAE's steadfast position in supporting the struggle of the Palestinian people and their right to statehood.
Sheikh Zayed continued to promote the nation's development process. The month of August saw the issuance of a series of legislative decrees and resolutions contributing towards developing the UAE's institutions, including the issuing of a decree on August 1, 1973, establishing the Federal Supreme Court as the highest judicial body in the country. The late ruler also issued an Emiri decree on August 5, 1973, forming the Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, that continues to benefit underprivileged persons within the UAE and abroad.
Sheikh was keen on expanding the UAE's development and humanitarian assistance, without any form of racial, religious, sectarian or cultural discrimination.
On August 1, 1990, the Founding Father issued instructions to finance the reclamation of 188,000 feddans and construction of hotels to promote tourism in Egypt. A year later, on 3rd August, the late ruler laid the foundation stone for the Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Rabat, Morocco.
He donated $5 million to the Organisation of Islamic Conference and its Islamic Solidarity Fund on August 24, 1997. Two days later, Sheikh Zayed gave $15 million to support the Palestinian people and confront the economic siege imposed by Israel.
Sheikh Zayed also sent urgent relief aid to the victims of an earthquake that struck Turkey in August 1999. Lastly, in August 2003, he donated medical equipment and supplies to equip six hospitals in Iraq, at his own expense.
These political, humanitarian, and diplomatic acts are evidence of the late ruler's rich legacy across local, regional and international levels, ultimately creating a lasting and positive impact on nations.