Khalifa Al Mubarak’s grandchildren — (from left) Mustafa, Lulwa, Sarya, Khalifa, Khalid and Alyazia at the street-naming ceremony. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: The recent naming of a major Abu Dhabi’s street after Khalifa Al Mubarak, an Emirati diplomat who was assassinated in 1984, is not just a memorial day where people pause in silence to reflect on those who have given their lives for the good of the UAE.

It is a sincere and heartfelt tribute to a patriot who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the ideals for which the nation stands, said Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development.

“The memory of their sacrifice will never fade and the UAE’s message to them is that their names and sacrifices are highly honoured,” Shaikh Nahyan said at the street-naming ceremony last Sunday.

Shaikh Nahyan said Al Mubarak was one of the citizens who contributed to the founding of the nation.

“The UAE holds up its citizens who have given their lives in the service of their country. The remembrance and honouring of our national heroes is not strange for our great leaders — the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

“The street naming in remembrance of great citizens is a noble gesture from the UAE’s leadership. It is highly appreciated by the young generation, who will sincerely put every effort in the service of their country,” said Shaikh Nahyan.

Shaikh Mohammad ordered a street in Abu Dhabi to be named after the late Khalifa Al Mubarak.

The order is in line with the keenness of Shaikh Khalifa to honour citizens who have contributed to supporting the foundations of the federation, and made sacrifices to convey the UAE’s message of peace, security, development and stability, WAM reported.

Ambassador Ahmad Abdul Rahman Al Jarman, assistant foreign minister for Political Affairs, who attended the ceremony for the naming the street, located near the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, said Al Mubarak was among the leading Emirati diplomats who paid the ultimate sacrifice, defending ideals of freedom and justice for which the UAE always stands.

Al Jarman, who took over as ambassador to France after Al Mubarak’s assassination, said diplomats felt strongly that Al Mubarak’s assassination was the murdering of freedom and justice.

“Al Mubarak made a great mark on ties between the UAE and France as he strived to promote his country’s national interests. The honouring of this great diplomat means that his life and sacrifices will remain forever in the national memory,” Al Jarman said.

Dr Tariq Mohammad Al Haidan, assistant foreign minister for International Organisations, said Al Mubarak was a great diplomat.

“Al Mubarak seems to me to typify the accomplished modern Emirati diplomat as I saw his success in Syria, where I served after him,” Dr Al Haidan said.

Al Mubarak’s son Mohammad Khalifa Al Mubarak, deputy chief executive of Aldar Properties, said he was just one year old when his father was assassinated. “I am very proud of my father who sacrificed his life while on active duty. For us [family of Al Mubarak] the honouring and remembrance of Khalifa Al Mubarak is the greatest gift from our great leaders. We are also willing and prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice as our father did,” he added.

Expressing heartfelt gratitude to the UAE’s leaders for “the greatest gift Al Mubarak’s family has ever received”, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chief executive and managing director of Mubadala and chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority, said: “Whatever we offer up to the UAE — for which we sacrifice our lives — we still fall short,” he said.