Sheikh Zayed's legend continues 10 years after his sad passing
Commemorating the UAE's pioneer and founding father
Alongside the celebrations of the legendary man on the 19th day of Ramadan – a.k.a. Zayed Humanitarian Day on July 17, today people from across the emirates and further afield celebrate the life of the UAE's founding father on the anniversary of his passing.
"THE ROLE OF WOMEN IS NO LESS THAN THE ROLE OF MEN. TODAY'S FEMALE STUDENTS ARE TOMORROW'S MOTHERS" –THE LATE SHEIKH ZAYED
On the evening of the 19th day of Ramadan, on November 2, 2004, the sad news that Sheikh Zayed had passed away was announced. Sheikh Zayed was nearly 86, and was born on December 1, 1918 – just after the end of the First World War and a new era.
Many 21st century rulers came to Sheikh Zayed’s funeral on November 3 2004 to pay their respects including Prince Charles of Britain, King Abdullah of Jordan, Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, and Sultan Qaboos of Oman.
"OUR ANCESTORS LEFT US A LEGACY OF TRADITIONS WE ARE PROUD OF. OUR MISSION IS TO MAINTAIN AND DEVELOP THEM AS ASSETS OF THE NATION FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS" – THE LATE SHEIKH ZAYED
Newsreader Ali Khalifa had the tough task to break the news on Dubai TV, telling The National in an interview in 2011: "No amount of professionalism is there to help you repress your emotions or have control over the situation," after he broke down mid-report, unable to continue.
The ruler of Abu Dhabi since 1966, Sheikh Zayed was an unparalleled driving force in the creation of the United Arab Emirates, a dream that came true on December 2, 1971. The inspiring leader then became the President of the UAE, a role he kept until his death.
Ten years since his passing, Sheikh Zayed and his legacy can be felt everywhere. From the beautiful Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, to the huge road that connects us – and most importantly – the spirit of the UAE and its incredible progress over the years, which undoubtedly could not have happened without his leadership.
RIP Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, 1918–2004