NAT SHK ZAYED 165343-1589295352303
President His Highness Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan chatting with a group Emiratis (bedouin) in the desert in 1970s. Image Credit: Courtesy of the National Archives

Dubai: Tributes poured in on Tuesday and commitments were firmly renewed as the UAE commemorated the death anniversary of the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, on Ramadan 19, which is marked as Zayed Humanitarian Day in the UAE.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, paid an emotional tribute to Sheikh Zayed in a video he tweeted on Tuesday.

As the world is fighting the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the video started by posing an allegorical question: ‘What would have Zayed done today?’

The answer was sharp and direct: “He would have made humanity contagious,” the video stated, adding: “He would have eased the pain by being there - caring, reassuring, supportive. He would have been the leader who, when the world is pausing, he’s already preparing for what’s next,”

As footages of UAE medics in the frontline and medical supplies being distributed around the world were shown, the video continued: “He would have treated the local and expats like his sons and daughters. He would have open his arms and hearts to the world, when the world is in confinement. He would have spread solidarity, brotherhood and unity.”

A true global leader, the video, underlined: “He would have been generous, genuine and a visionary... An inspiration for life when the world is ill. He would have been the rock who has the power to move the nation forward.”

With all the attributes given to Sheikh Zayed, the video concluded that the Founding Father would have stood proud of his nation and its people because “they are doing exactly what he would have done… His spirit is still here in each one of us, leading the way to remain a powerful nation where our power lies in our values.”

Strong resolve to follow Zayed

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, highlighted Zayed Humanitarian Day as a day to revive the UAE’s resolve to Sheikh Zayed’s path.

He tweeted: “On Zayed Humanitarian Day, we revive our resolve to follow his path of compassion and benevolence. We draw from his legacy to amplify values of solidarity and harmony, especially during these circumstances.

More UAE officials and government entities also paid their tributes to the nation’s Founding Father.

Dr. Hamad Saif Al Shamsi, UAE attorney general, said: “Zayed Humanitarian Day is bright landmark in the history of the UAE that embodies the values of tolerance and giving, which were established by the late Sheikh Zayed . This day is also a source of inspiration for the UAE government and people to launch further charitable and humanitarian initiatives.

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, DEWA managing director and CEO, added: “Our wise leadership continue the approach of our Founding Father. Their helping hands extend to support the needy anywhere in the world. They do this regardless of religion, ethnicity, or colour; committed to the worthy values that stem from the essence of Islam, Arab tradition, and the principles instilled by the late Sheikh Zayed in the hearts of Emiratis.”

The Roads and Transport Authority and Dubai Police also tweeted their tributes highlighting saying the UAE’s humanitarian initiatives in adherence to Zayed’s approach and the spirit of giving he planted.