Mohammed explores the UAE’s 40 years of achievements
Sheikh Mohammed gave a lecture on the theme "Spirit of the Union", during which he shed light on the country's epic march into progress, which he witnessed over the past decades, thus giving the young generation the lessons that will sustain them on the path of development.
The lecture was attended by Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Federal National Council Speaker Mohammed Al Murr, Abu Dhabi Ruler's Representative in the Eastern Region Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chief Executive of Emirates Group Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Minister of Public Works and President of the National Media Council Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Director of Dubai Ruler's Court Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shebani, Commander General of Dubai Police Lt. General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Director of Sheikh Mohammed's Office Lt. General Musabbah Rashid Al Fattan, other senior officials, national, regional and international media representatives and a host of university students.
Sheikh Mohammed welcomed his guests by reciting a short poem in which he reflected his nationalistic feelings of the UAE's 40th National Day and his pride in the second of December which forms a turning point for the UAE people and leadership.
Addressing the audience, especially the young people who were born after the union, Sheikh Mohammed said that the age of 40 is the age of maturity, that's why God sent down His revelation on his Prophet Muhammad ( peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) when he reached 40 years.
Sheikh Mohammed said that the 40th national day is the stage of maturity for our country which has made great achievements at the national, cultural and humanitarian levels. Through these achievements, he said, the UAE has not only vied with others but has also set an example for others to follow and learn from its long experience. He added that contrary to what others, who live in prosperity and luxury today, believe, the way was not planted with flowers, but it was full of challenges and dangers in addition to other outside influences, which without Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid's resolve and national sense such a union would not have been possible.
Sheikh Mohammed went on to point out that the most important achievement made during the time of Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid and sustained today by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is man, especially the youth who represent the highest percentage of the UAE citizens. He added that the youth are the future and we, as leaders, rely on them and their ability to shoulder the responsibility and take the initiative to build their future and the future of the generations to come to achieve the national goals, hopes and aspirations of their people.
Sheikh Mohammed expressed hope that when the UAE celebrates its 50th national day it will be ranked as one of the best countries the world in all fields; our people, amongst the most civilized and forward looking of nations, by God's guidance and the support of its leadership.
Speaking about his wishes before the establishment of the modern state many of which, he said, have been achieved today, Sheikh Mohammed said that when he had visited European and non European countries for study or tourism and saw great achievements in those countries ' infrastructures, armies, cultural and educational institutions and others; he wished such achievements would be made at home.
Talking further about his dreams and wishes, Sheikh Mohammed went on to say that he dreamed of a strong country, strong people, strong leadership, strong economy, and strong achievements, adding that when he saw the fighter planes during the Dubai Air Show, he wished his country would have this kind of weapon; now I tell you that our factory in Al Ain manufactures spare parts for these planes; this national factory is part of my national dreams.
Talking with pride about the perseverance and heritage of the fathers and ancestors, Sheikh Mohammed said that the people and the leadership of the country inherited perseverance from our fathers and forefathers, who have suffered hardship to keep alive and provide their children with food and drink. They used to dive in the dangerous sea to bring the fish to their children. They lived with all kinds of challenges in the Arabian Peninsula from which they started their journey to the world spreading Islam; they are the pioneers who defended their island and their land. I would like to tell you, young people, that despite all the challenges achievements were made and you, in the UAE, are harvesting the fruit of the challenges your fathers and forefathers had endured and overcome.
Sheikh Mohammed went further to touch on the invasion of the Gulf region by foreign powers, which brought about devastation and havoc to the land and the sea, and destruction and exploitation of the riches and which adopted other colonial and abhorrent methods, forcing the people of the region to fight those occupiers and expel them to attain independence. After liberating their land from the enemies, our grandparents returned to fishing and diving for pearls. As a result, the pearl industry flourished and the people felt a kind of prosperity. Those people survived and resisted until they have become in line with developed countries, able to have influence on and make change in the world's economic and political map.
He warned the youth against despair, calling on them to equip themselves with patience, perseverance and determination to achieve their ambitions through reviving the heritage of their grandparents and ancestors.
Sheikh Mohammed briefed his guests about the differences and difficulties the rulers of the emirates faced before signing of the Union's constitution and the declaration of the state of the United Arab Emirates. In this regard, he said that the late Sheikh Zayed and the late Sheikh Rashid met in a tent in the Al Sameeh area on the borders between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, accompanied by some other people and I was among those who witnessed the meeting and the signing of Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rahshid on the draft constitution, despite the reluctance of the rest of the rulers of the Emirates; Ras Al Khaimah was the last to sign.
He touched on the role of the British in fueling negative feelings among some rulers, using the method of 'divide and rule', taking advantage of the marginal disputes that prevailed during the consultations and meetings held by Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid with the other rulers; Sheikh Zayed managed lastly through his expertise, patience, wisdom and patriotism to convince them to join him and his brother, Sheikh Rashid and sign on the interim constitution, and then, he announced the Union on the second of December, 1971 at the Union House in Dubai.
Sheikh Mohammed went on to relate to his guests the various challenges , which faced the union, which without the perseverance and insistence of Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid, our dream to live today under one leadership and one flag and have a stable, sovereign and an independent country, would not have been possible.
Commenting on what others write and say about the country and its people, denying us our values, culture, history and heritage and claiming that we are merely an oil country and luxury loving people, Sheikh Mohammed responded: yes, we are a rich and an oil producing country; nevertheless, we have our own civilization, Arab and Islamic culture and a history that is rich in achievements. We possess all elements of a decent life based on equality, justice, humanity, and we reach out to all people of the world who need our support. "
Concluding his lecture, Sheikh Mohammed recited some love and nationalistic poems, adding an atmosphere of intimacy to the gathering and knocking down barriers between His Highness and the young people who were happy with this talk and proud of their leader, wishing him and the UAE leadership all good health and glory.Thursday, December 1, 2011