Real wealth is not material gain but found in people who build the future of the nation. That is the message that the UAE‘s Founding Father is being remembered for today, on the anniversary of his accession. Many have paid homage to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who became ruler of Abu Dhabi on August 6, 1966, this week, drawing attention to his leadership and legacy.
Indeed, the late President of the UAE is credited with transforming the Gulf country from a vast expanse of the desert without paved roads, electricity, or running water into a modern and progressive state. During his 38-year tenure, HH Sheikh Zayed led Abu Dhabi to independence, used the country’s massive oil revenue to build sleek skyscrapers as well as hospitals, universities, and cities, and championed women’s equality in the Emirates — and that’s just barely scratching the surface.
Today, to celebrate his legacy, we’re remembering HH Sheikh Zayed through some of his wisest, and most insightful, musings.
On acknowledging one’s past
“He who does not know his past cannot make the best of his present and future, for it is from the past that we learn.”
On the importance of humanity
“No matter how many buildings, foundations, schools and hospitals we build, or how many bridges we raise, all these are material entities. The real spirit behind progress is the human spirit, the able man with his intellect and capabilities.
“The ruler should not have any barrier which separates him from his people.”
“Wealth is not money. Wealth lies in men. This is where true power lies, the power we value. This is what has convinced us to direct all our resources to build the individual, and to use the wealth which God has provided us in the service of the nation.”
On female empowerment
“Islam affords women their rightful status, and encourages them to work in all sectors, as long as they are afforded appropriate respect.”
“To treat every person, no matter what his creed or race, as a special soul, is a mark of Islam.”