This month, the world is celebrating Father’s Day on 21st June which is only a few days before releasing this issue. As Victor Magazine is strongly finding its way internationally, I would like to take this opportunity and celebrate Sheikh Zayed as the icon for this year’s Father’s Day in the Victor Magazine to allow our readers outside the MENA region to get to know this magnificent icon.
If you live or visited the UAE, you probably know very well who Sheikh Zayed is and the significance of the name/character in the hearts of all who live here whether citizens or residents. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan is the founding father of the union of the United Arab Emirates proclaimed in 1971 and before that (for 30 years), he has been the ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. You can find a lot of information about Sheikh Zayed on the internet (and I invite you to do so), however, this article will not be about things you will find online but about how we speak about Sheikh Zayed in our daily lives here in the UAE.
Known to most as “baba Zayed” or Father Zayed, he truly represents the nation’s deep patriarchal role and cornerstone. His quotes about union, tolerance, and humanity are usually played as call tones for many governmental bodies’ contact numbers. For every year, the country sets a theme to inspire and motivate everyone – for example, this year’s theme is “Towards the next fifty” marking the UAE as a united federation of emirates turning 50 in December this year. The country has started this tradition, in 2018, with “Year of Zayed” celebrating his sayings and principles and asserting them as those of the UAE’s. Many of that year’s flyers and boards are still in place from 2018 till now.
Sheikh Zayed was not just a ruler and president who has done very well, he is an inspiring figure who has transformed his country in very few decades into a modern, vibrant and developed country … something that could take others centuries to achieve. His influence and principles are strongly present in all government (and even private) entities in the UAE … it is like we all run all our important choices on the test “what would Sheikh Zayed do or decide in this situation”.
Citizens of the UAE proudly call themselves “children of Zayed” and with much love and sincerity, mark his day of passing away twice a year; once on the Gregorian calendar on 2nd November and the other on the lunar Hijri calendar on 19th Ramadan. Let’s celebrate the great Father Zayed on this Father’s Day and read his sayings and explore his principles that have made the UAE what it is today.
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