The Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation has organized a symposium under the title of “Zayed and the Cultural Dimension” on Sunday morning, Novemeber 25, 2018. The event, which took place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai shed light on the cultural legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan- may Allah have mercy upon him, which continues to inspire the nation.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by HH Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan (Minister of Tolerence), HH Sheikha Dr. Shama Bint Mohammed Bin Khalid Al Nahyan, HE Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash (Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation), HE Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamin (Head of General Security for the Emirate of Dubai), author Abdul Ghaffar Hussein, Dr. Sulaiman Moussa Al Jassim (Deputy Chairman of the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation) and a number of board members, heads of cultural, educational and media institutions as well as leading cultural and media personalities and enthusiasts, academics and students.
The symposium began with the UAE national anthem, followed by an address by HH Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan (Minister of Tolerence), in which he said:
“I am pleased to be with you today in this gathering organized by the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation. I am delighted that this Foundation, in all its activities, genuinely proves that it continues to be true to its founder, the late Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais, may Allah have mercy upon him, a pioneer who will always be remembered for his valuable contribution to thought and culture in the UAE and the Arab region. As we gather here today, we would like to express our pride in this great son of the UAE, whose legacy continues to live on to this very day and is a symbol of giving and a source of pride.”
“I am also happy that this symposium brings together a constellation of leading intellectuals and cultural personalities who play a great role in shaping the minds and souls of our nation and in enriching the lives of individuals and of society as a whole, as well as establishing cultural and humane values that forge the journey of the UAE, especially connecting with the other and promoting peace and tolerance in addition to taking pride in the progress made by the UAE and its success in dealing with various issues and challenges”, His Highness added.
“Our father, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may Allah have mercy upon him, always used to tell us that in the UAE we belong to the Arab and Islamic culture that is inspired by our religion and by genuine Arab heritage. However, he also told us that we belong to global culture, to humanity and we take multiculturalism into account because culture in the UAE encompasses the individual as a whole, his/her mind, soul, will, beliefs, customs and behavior. Our culture is scientific and intellectual that calls upon thinkers to think and consider. He used to tell us that we should realize that culture in the UAE combines steadfastness with flexibility, because we our steadfast in regards to our faith, morals and traditions and we are flexible in regards to being open to other cultures. He always stressed the importance of reinforcing national identity and cultivating national pride among the people of the UAE and underlining the role they play in promoting peaceful coexistence and establishing the role of culture in achieving unity among members of the community. The late Sheikh Zayed- may Allah have mercy on him- embodied all these noble values, both in his words and actions and especially in his support of artists, authors and the talented all over the UAE. He constantly stressed the importance of innovation and creativity in achieving sustainable progress. The achievements of our founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, are embodied in how the UAE is today, Alhamdulillah, a hub where cultures meet and interact and an admirable model for coexistence and tolerance among its people who come from all over the world. The UAE has succeeded in employing this diversity to achieve progress and wellbeing for all,” HH Sheikh Nahyan concluded.
Next, HE Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash (Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation) gave a welcome address where he stressed the role of culture in promoting the sense of national responsibility as the nation honors the legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed- may Allah have mercy on him and follows the lead of His Highness His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, may Allah protect him, and the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, may Allah protect him and his brother His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, who all advocate culture as a means for the progress of the individual and the community. In conclusion, Dr. Gargash thanked all participants in the symposium for their efforts in making it a success and wished them all the best.
Following this, HE Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamin (Head of General Security for the Emirate of Dubai), presented a paper titled, “Zayed and the Cultural Dimension”, in which he discussed various aspects of the life of the late Sheikh Zayed, may Allah have mercy upon him. Moreover, HE Bilal Al Budoor presented a paper titled “Zayed and Education”, which talked about how much the late Sheikh Zayed loved education and encouraged students and scholars. Furthermore, Dr. Fatima Al Sayegh, shared her paper titled “Zayed and History”, in which she shed light on important events in the life of the late Sheikh Zayed and his relationship with heritage and traditions. This was also the theme of a paper by Dr. Faleh Hanthal, who discussed in his paper how the late Sheikh Zayed contributed a lot of time and energy to documenting places so that future generations can take pride in them. At the conclusion of the first session, Nasser Hussein Al Abboudi presented a paper on the late Sheikh Zayed’s relationship with heritage.
In the second session of the symposium, HH Sheikha Dr. Shama Bint Mohammed Bin Khalid Al Nahyan presented a research titled “Zayed and Women” that shed light on the attention and support given by the late Sheikh Zayed to women, which contributed to the important status enjoyed by women in the UAE today. “Zayed empowered Emirati women to achieve the status they enjoy today, and we also cannot forget the contribution of HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, may Allah protect her, who believed and worked to empower and inspire Emirati women to be present in all fields and sectors in the UAE,” HH Sheikha Dr. Shama pointed out.
Ali Obeid Al Hamli also presented a research on “Zayed and the Media”, which touched upon various notable incidents reflecting the relationship between the late Sheikh Zayed and the media, and his appreciation of the role it plays in the progress of the nation. On the other hand, Dr. Mariam Al Hashemi talked in her paper about the late Sheikh Zayed’s love of poetry and appreciation of literary talents, while researcher and poet Mahmoud Nour discussed in his paper “Zayed the Nabati Poet”, the late Sheikh Zayed’s love and appreciation of Nabati poetry. At the conclusion of the symposium, poet Dr. Arif Al Sheikh read out a poem in commemoration of the centennial of the birth of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may Allah have mercy upon him.