The Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation, in collaboration with Juma Al Majid Center for Culture and Heritage, has hosted a virtual symposium under the title of ‘Documents of the Union: A Vibrant History’ at 7 pm on Wednesday, November 25, 2020. The symposium, was hosted on Zoom online platform, and was also broadcasted on the online platform of Al Owais Cultural Foundation on social media.
The symposium comes in preparation for celebrations of the 49th National Day of the UAE, which was established on December 2nd, 1971. It is worth mentioning that the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation has always hosted cultural activities to mark this momentous occasion celebrated by the United Arab Emirates.
The ‘Documents of the Union: A Vibrant History’ symposium saw the participation of Dr. Hamad Bin Saray, Dr. Saif Bin Abboud Al Badwawi, Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Musallam and Abdullah Bin Jassim Al Mutairi and was moderated by Mr. Nasser Hussein Al Abboudi, scholar and history enthusiast and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation. At the beginning of the event, Dr. Fatima Al Sayegh, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation, delivered the opening speech of the symposium in which she said: “The National Day of the UAE is a momentous occasion in which we are reminded of the founding fathers of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his brother Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum- may Allah have mercy upon them- who all worked on building this great country. In less than half a century, the United Arab Emirates has succeeded in establishing itself on the international arena as one of the most advanced and civilized countries. In this symposium, we salute each and every individual working towards the good of the UAE and anyone who loves this country. This is the land of peace and love, where we are blessed with security and serenity and are able to paint a bright future for future generations thanks to our great and generous country.”
Next, Dr. Hamed Bin Saray, Professor of History at UAE University, presented a research paper titled “Features of Union between the Coastal States Before 1971, in which he shed light on the circumstances that prevailed in the region during the 1950s and 1960s and pointed out that British officials, whether men of the military, politicians, statesmen, voyagers, excavators or scholars, had extensively researched and meticulously recorded every detail of this period whether in writing or using photos and illustrations, and provided detailed descriptions and commentary on society and urbanism in the phase prior to the establishment of the Union, hence giving an overview of the work mechanisms in some of the establishments and foundations existing at the time.
Moreover, Dr. Saif Bin Abboud Al Badwawi, Historian specializing in the Arab Gulf Region, presented a research paper titled, “An Overview of the Discussions Leading up to the Formation of the Union: The Consultative Council as a Model”, in which he gave an introduction about British political stance towards the Arabian Gulf following World War II, especially in 1948, when the British government decided to encourage rulers to improve their governments and economic status by appointing consultants and advisors from time to time in different parts of the Arabian Gulf. In addition, Al Badwawi also discussed the status of oil in the region and how British politician Sir Robert Hay convinced the British government to form the Trucial States Council.
Furthermore, researcher Abdullah Bin Jassim Al Mutairi, presented a research titled, “A Study of Currency Used in the UAE since the Formation of the Union”, in which he discussed the history of different currencies used in the region and the various social, political and economic developments that brought them about, and gave an overview of the names and shapes of coins during this period and the dates when they appeared.
In addition symposium also featured a screening of the documentary, “The United Arab Emirates: A Glimpse of the UAE’s 50th Anniversary”. The film highlights the important milestones in the journey leading up to the establishment of the Union and concludes with a glimpse of the UAE in the present, where the success of the political system can be attributed to it being a unique blend of the old values and modernity, and an inherent commitment to dialogue, unanimity and democracy.
It is worth mentioning that the symposium comes in preparation for celebrations of the Golden Jubilee of the UAE 2021 and as a response to the project launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai – May Allah preserve him- which aims at involving members of the community in shaping the future of the UAE.