Dubai: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Saturday took to the social networking site Twitter to reinforce the importance of reading about the history of the UAE ahead of the celebration of the country’s 41st national day.
“The 41st National Day is the most important day in our nation. It is a dear occasion on our hearts and it is approaching through the coming weeks,” Shaikh Mohammad said in one of his posts.
“We as a people have a long and glorious history. We are not a nation with a short history. The first lesson to be learnt from the spirit of the Union is to know our history,” he went on to say.
Before the birth of the nation in 1971, the seven emirates were called Trucial States.
On December 2, the federation was officially announced to include Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain. In February the following year, Ras Al Khaimah officially joined the federation.
But the path to unity was not a smooth one. Like other countries’ histories, bloodshed and armed resistance figured prominently in the UAE’s history dating back to the 16th century.
“Read about the resistance of our people against the Portuguese in 1506, or their standing against the British during the past century,” Shaikh Mohammad urged his Twitter followers.
Shaikh Mohammad was referring to the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century where the Europeans faced bloody encounters with the residents of Julfar.
The east cost ports of Dibba, Khor Fakkan, Kalba, and Bidiya were marred by sweat and blood as the residents gallantly defended their land.
The country’s rich history dates back to the Neolithic period around 5,500 BC or 7,500 years ago. Islam was brought to the country by envoys of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in 630 AD. Pearl diving and seafaring were the main means of livelihood of the early inhabitants of the country then.
Shaikh Mohammad went on to encourage UAE residents to learn about the country’s earlier history: “Read about the civilisation of Umm Al Nar which goes back 2000 BC, read about Julfar from the 4th Hijrit century, or the Jumeirah Islamic city of the Ammawid era,” he said.