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An emotional farewell to Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi Filed on November 21, 2019 | Last updated on November 21, 2019 at 05.24 am
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TEARY FAREWELL: Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, other Sheikhs from Al Nahyan family and Emiratis pray during the burial of Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan at Al Bateen on Wednesday. - Wam

Sheikh Sultan, the second son of Sheikh Zayed, was born in Al Ain in 1955.

Sheikhs from across the UAE, top officials and residents came together on Wednesday to mourn the passing of Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed the First Mosque in Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, was packed to capacity as His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, led the mourners in performing the funeral prayers.

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Under overcast conditions, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed helped carry the body of his late brother to Al Bateen Cemetery. Among those who offered the prayers were Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi of Sharjah; Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi of Ajman; Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi of Fujairah; Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu'alla of Umm Al Quwain; and Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi of Ras Al Khaimah.

Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed, younger brother of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, served as the President's Representative. He died while receiving treatment abroad.

Sheikh Sultan was recognised as one of the most loyal sons of the UAE, who escorted the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, since the early days of the Union.

Residents pay tribute

At the funeral, Emiratis paid tribute to him, recalling his great contributions to the nation.

A 75-year-old Emirati, Seif Dajesh Al Dhaheri, was among the several elders at the funeral. He said he'd known Sheikh Sultan since the 70s and that his great love for the people was outstanding.

"I have known Sheikh Sultan since he was a young man. He was very polite and a down-to-earth person," said Al Dhaheri. "The UAE has lost a man who embodied humanitarian principles. His humanitarian actions and generosity touched many people of all nationalities and religion."

An approachable leader

Another Emirati, Khaid Ali, 45, said Sheikh Sultan cared much for the well-being of the people. He was also very approachable, the Emirati added. "He wanted to see everyone happy. He did everything in his capacity to improve people's lives. Sheikh Sultan helped everyone who went to his majlis or office."

Mohammed Saeed, 55, an Emirati resident of Al Bateen, said Sheikh Sultan had great love for his nation and worked relentlessly towards preserving heritage. "He had a special passion for heritage and loved falconry. His keen interest led to the setup of the Emirates Falconry club with international standards," he said. "Sheikh Sultan also had great passion for camels - an animal he had for long regarded as an important symbol of the UAE's heritage."

Sheikh Sultan, the second son of Sheikh Zayed, was born in Al Ain in 1955. He studied at Millfield School in Somerset and attended the Sandhurst Military Academy.

Ismail Sebugwaawo

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