The United Arab Emirates was founded on the 2nd December 1971 and was no longer known as the Trucial States. National Day in the UAE is celebrated every year on the 2nd December and this holiday celebrates the culture and history of the UAE. But, how was the UAE actually founded and who was the man that brought the nation together?
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, also known as Sheikh Zayed, was born on the 6th of May 1918 and was the youngest of four sons of H.H Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan. His mother was Sheikha Salama bin Butti Al Qubaisi. She made a promise to her sons to not use violence against each other which is a promise they kept. Sheikh Zayed was named after his grandfather, Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, also known as “Zayed the Great” who ruled the Emirate of Abu Dhabi from 1850 – 1955. At the time of Sheikh Zayed’s birth, Abu Dhabi (along with the other six emirates) was part of the Trucial States and was under the control of the British. He was at least known to have moved from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain after his father was sadly assassinated by his brother to rule Abu Dhabi. There was no modern schools in Al Ain so Sheikh Zayed received Islamic teaching and basic education. He lived in the desert with Bedouin tribesmen.
Sheikh Zayed was appointed as the governor of the Eastern Region of Abu Dhabi in 1946. in 1952 a small Saudi Arabian force led by Turki bin Abdullah Al-Otaishan occupied the village of Hamasa in the Buraimi Oasis. Zayed rejected a bribe of about £30 million (AED 151,962,940.85) to allow Aramco (The Saudi Arabian Oil Company) to explore for oil in the quarrel territory.
In 1968, the British made a decision that it would withdraw its involvement in the Trucial States. On February 18, 1968, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai met in the desert in a tent (traditional Bedu – style) and made a decision to found a union with Sheikh Zayed as the president. This then became reality 3 years later when six of the seven emirates (RAK, Ras Al Khaimah, decided to join the UAE later) to become an independent country called the United Arab Emirates.
Sheikh Zayed invested heavily in schools, hospitals, universities and a plethora of orphanages. Also, he was very adamant to establish rights for women. The UAE is a country that women make up 46.6 percent of the labour market. The UAE was the first Arab country to have introduced a mandatory law of female attendance in boardrooms.
Sheikh Zayed was sadly hospitalized in 1999 and passed away on November 2nd 2004. He was later then buried in the courtyard of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, where lots of people around the world visit everyday. Sheikh Zayed’s legacy is remembered to this day and he will always be in our hearts.
SHEIKH ZAYED WAS AN AMAZING LEADER. HE LOVED HIS PEOPLE AND HIS NATION AND HE WILL BE REMEMBERED. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING
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