Abu Dhabi, 2 Dec. 2008 The Centre of Information Affairs in Abu Dhabi has organized a symposium on topic “Zayed: Immortal Achievements”, on the occasion of the 4th anniversary of the founder of the nation, late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Senior political, intellectual, and academic figures participated in the event.
In the opening statement, HE Mohammed Khalifa Al Murar (Information Advisor) said that the memory of time records the history of mankind, and “as we stand today to review the civilization march of this blessed country, we pay tribute to the personality of late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan whose unique character which was an example to be followed in terms of ambitions, achievements and endeavors to realize welfare and decent living to people and mankind everywhere”.
“The exceptional leader died, the kind heart ceased to beat but it was full of mercy, kindness and tenderness. Nevertheless, Sheikh Zayed will never leave our memory despite succession of time”, said the Information Advisor. He also said that Sheikh Zayed spared no effort to make this country the heaven for faith, security, tolerance, love and solidarity.
On his part, Mr. Keiichiro Okabe, Chairman of Arab-Japan Association, and Chairman of Cosmo Oil Co., Ltd., said that late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan was a statesman by all means, stating that during his 38 years as President, the UAE has developed rapidly and occupied a good strong position among the world nations.
Speaking about UAE-Japanese relations, Mr. Okabe pointed out that bilateral relations between the two countries were further boosted in 1990 when Sheikh Zayed made his historic visit to Japan, and when in 1995 both the Japanese Crown Prince and Crown Princess visited the UAE to further promote the bilateral relations.
Mr. Jarno Juhani Peltonen, Professor of Cultural History at University of Helsinki, said in his paper, entitled “Vision of Late Sheikh Zayed of Humane Action”, that late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan was a national leader and world statesman who accomplished a magnificent life-work in many aspects. “Today we are looking at his achievements from the humanistic point of view, while he himself said that the financial resources were a tool to facilitate the development of what he considered to be the real wealth of the country – its people and particularly the younger generation,” he noted.
He said that the modern UAE is a fruit of Seikh Zayed’s tireless efforts, and of his humane actions as a statesman, and a pious man. He united the small emirate states into a federation with wealth, independence and strong identity, said Mr. Peltonen, adding that, in his strategies Sheikh Zayed favored qualities like tolerance, peacefulness and brotherhood.
Professor Madam Irina Pavlovskaya said, in her paper, entitled “Humanity of Sheikh Zayed,” that “thanks to the wise leadership and farsighted vision of late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the United Arab Emirates enjoyed a superb leap forward to an extent unparalleled in the midst of a very rapid process of modernization in the fields of social and economic development”.
She stated that “ideals of Sheikh Zayed, which are translated in his great humanitarian attitudes, extended not only to the UAE but also to the whole international community”. The speaker said, “It was the exemplary leadership of H.H. Sheikh Zayed that taught generations that wealth could be meaningless if it is not spent on the well being and prosperity of the people”.
Professor Pavlovskaya pointed out that late Sheikh Zayed paid special attention to woman’s issues in his country, paving the way for women to go further in their quest for knowledge. She affirmed that Sheikh Zayed was “a strong proponent of women’s rights”. She stated that Sheikh Zayed believed that women are an integral part of the society and it is their duty to contribute to the development of their country side by side with men, adding that it is no wonder that UAE’s women have embarked on various fields of work.
She stated that late Sheikh Zayed’s charity vision was translated in the formation of the Red Crescent Society as a humanitarian body through which the UAE addresses humanitarian disasters and other problems anywhere in the world. “Today, the UAE ranks 7th in the world and the first among the Arab countries to engage in relief assistance in many parts of the globe”, noted the speaker.
She quoted Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak as saying: “H.H. late Sheikh Zayed was a source of inspiration for all the people in the UAE, and His Highness’s noble values constituted his holistic approach to these issues and consequently led to the remarkable transformation of the UAE in every facet of life”.
The information Affairs Office has also published a study on the occasion to highlight some aspects of the life of late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
It indicates that Sheikh Zayed was not an ordinary leader; his leadership was exceptional by all standards. The study says that his life was full of achievements in all aspects of life. He built education and health institutions and established giant industries, which made the UAE a solid base attracting the international economic circles, the study points out.
It affirms that late Sheikh Zayed managed to make the UAE a modern, prosperous country, which enjoyed the respect of the world and played big role in the international arena.
It tackles the great interest late Sheikh Zayed showed to the UAE women and children, as he considered mothers to be the makers of generations and effective contributors to nation building.
The study also highlights Sheikh Zayed’s interest in the disabled and people with special needs, and his keenness to provide them with care, training and education.
It also touched on Sheikh Zayed’s humanitarian initiatives and generous aids to the needy people all over the world.