The year 2018 marks 100 years since the birth of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the UAE, who passed away in 2004.
In order to commemorate this historic national occasion, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, declared that 2018 will be officially known in the UAE as the Year of Zayed.
FANR celebrated the Year of Zayed by featuring a series of events and initiatives throughout the year designed to commemorate the memory of the late Sheikh Zayed. These events included educational talks about the life of Sheikh Zayed to promote his values, and the distribution of books on his life.
‘FANR Talks’ is a series of short talks from prominent figures in the UAE on a platform of sharing knowledge. In 2018 FANR held three sessions on the life and achievements of Sheikh Zayed. The first was with Dr Faleh Handal, the UAE’s leading historian who spoke about his memories on the late Sheikh Zayed and highlighted his key values and principles, which embody today’s UAE community. He talked about his personality, wisdom and leadership at that time, and its impact on the UAE. At the end of the event, Dr Handal signed his book about the UAE dialect, which was published in 1978. Dr Handal won the Abu Dhabi Award in 2013 for people doing good deeds.
The second of the talks was by Dr Aisha Bilkhair, Research Adviser at the National Archives. Dr Aisha took FANR staff on a journey through Sheikh Zayed’s challenges to empower women in a society rife with bedouin traditions. She explained how Sheikh Zayed faced the challenges of building a strategic plan to get women in UAE society to assume leading positions. Dr Aisha also discussed the role of H.H Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Al Nahyan, the Mother of the Nation, to develop women in UAE society.
The last of the talks featured His Excellency Zaki Nassiba, Minister of State. H.E. Zaki Nassiba had witnessed the beginnings of a modern Emirates with the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan. FANR staff had the opportunity to learn from one of the defining figures in UAE history, and a close friend of the late Sheikh Zayed.