Sheikh Zayed is one of the outstanding world leaders, who could lead his country from poverty to prosperity. Sheikh Zayed occupied the post of the President of the United Arab Emirates within nearly 38 years. On December 2, 2001, he was re-elected as the President of the United Arab Emirates for the seventh five-year term. In 1992, Zayed founded “The Fund of Zayed” with the authorized capital in 3 billion 671 million dirhams, which became known owning to financing of a set of similar projects as construction of mosques, cultural and research centers, assistance to the victims of natural disasters. (Maitra, 2007).
Sheikh Zayed’s Life
Sheikh Zayed Ibn Sultan Al Nahayan is the 14th governor from Al Nahayan dynasty, the governor of Abu Dhabi and United Arab Emirates’ president. Jayanti Maitra states that he was born on December 1, 1918, in Al Ain. Zayed was the youngest of sons of the Sheikh Sultan, who governed in the principality of Abu Dhabi in 1922 - 1926. When the Sheikh Sultan died, Zayed was only eight years old, and he had to wander across the Arabian Peninsula. Sheikh Zayed never went to school. However, he received home schooling - the mullah taught him to read, to write and count. Moreover, he was taught wisdom stated in the Koran. (Maitra, 2007).
In the 1930s, the Sheikh Shakhbat II, Zayed’s brother, governing in the principality, charged him to accompany the western geologists who were looking for hydrocarbons in the desert. In 1946, Zayed was appointed the governor of Al Ain. Under his rule an active construction began, trade quickened, and agriculture began to develop in an oasis.
According to the official version, Zayed died on November 2, 2004, in his coastal Al-Bakher palace on the eastern suburb of Abu Dhabi, having managed to implement the most grandiose reform of the government for the previous 27 years. In particular, a woman was appointed to the post of minister for the first time in Gulf States. For his long life, Sheikh Zayed brought up 19 sons who still occupy high state positions or run business. He also had 14 daughters. Sheikh Zayed was married nine times, but he did not have more than three-four wives at the same time. (Maitra, 2007).
Grateful compatriots simply called Sheikh Zayed “the founding father”. He was also the father, who managed by means of the income from oil to make prospering the whole country, the citizens of which were considered to be his family members. The politics of the first UAE president is concentrated in several words, saying that a person is the most valuable resource and riches cost nothing if they do not serve people.
Sheikh Zayed in Al Ain
Al Ain is the only big city of the United Arab Emirates, placed far from the sea. In 1946, Sheikh Zayed started to rule in Al Ain. Zayed tried to modernize the life of his compatriots-Bedouins, in particular, offered them to work in the sphere of agriculture, though this occupation was considered to be shameful for a real Bedouin. Sheikh Zayed had been ruling his native city Al Ain and the surrounding desert for 20 years. During all these years, he communicated only with Bedouins; he did not leave for the other countries and had no personal contacts with foreigners. However, he was engaged in self-education, read much and developed plans of radical restructuring of his native land.
During Zayed’s reign in Al Ain, the Arabian Bedouins passed a fantastic way from breeding way of life to one of the richest states in the world. Nobody among the dead and alive rulers of the world countries managed to pass the way from a subsistence economy to the economic model, which absorbed the most modern achievements of the world civilization for several decades. From the first years of his reign, Emir Zayed tried to diversify the economy of the United Arab Emirates, to make everything for oil and gas production to be not the only source of well-being of nation.
Sheikh Zayed started his reign with the unprecedented act of generosity and good will. He opened palace treasury and distributed the saved money received by Emirates for oil among all inhabitants gratuitously. Three-four parts of the land were given for the construction of houses, commercial building in a business center of the city and construction of a workshop or other production object in an industrial zone. Villagers received land plots and everything necessary for their cultivation, including equipment, pumps and irrigational constructions gratuitously. Each needing inhabitant of not only Al Ain but also from other cities could receive money for the construction of modern houses gratuitously. Sheikh Zayed had to make huge efforts for his people to pass from tribal dependence to the belief in the new state where neighbors are not potential enemies, but compatriots. Sheikh Zayed made people believe that oil richness of the country was divided between all of Emirates by justice. There was not alienation between the government and people, but rapprochement that allowed starting the most effective resource - a resource of a human energy.
Ruler of Abu Dabi
In August 1966, the Sheikh Zayed became the Emir of the principality of Abu Dhabi, having dismissed the Sheikh Shakhbat. In December 1971, the Emirs of six principalities declared the creation of the federation of the United Arab Emirates, having elected Zayed as the President of Abu Dhabi. They emphasized both a role and a place of Zayed in the federation of Abu Dhabi (the biggest, the most populated and the richest emirate), and a contribution of the Sheikh to the formation and development of the unique state. Having come to the power, the vigorous sheikh works at two projects: unite seven separate emirates into a whole and to build “city-garden” in the desert. More than thirty parks were opened in Abu Dhabi. The country started to export flowers, potatoes, strawberry, other vegetables and fruits. There were the woods, the landing material for which was selected in the areas with similar climate in Australia, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Forest plantations occupy hundreds of thousands hectares. (Maitra, 2007).
Sheikh Zayed started to pay much attention to education of nomads. Therefore, very large sums were put into the development of the education system. A lot of universities were opened in the country. Moreover, the reception of a higher education by the UAE citizens abroad was encouraged by Zayed. The government compensates a tuition fee in any, even the most prestigious and expensive higher educational institution of the world. Moreover, it gives the grant, allowing living decently. Besides, Zayed, unlike many devout Muslims, was convinced that women should receive a higher education. Household and service of a husband as well as care for children is not their highest and only mission in life. The author of the book “From Challenges to Union”, Jayanti Maitra, states that female students of the UAE compose 65%. Moreover, the UAE government in every possible way welcomes entrepreneurship and any economic activity of its citizens. The Emir Zayed paid a special attention to the development of agriculture on irrigation lands in the country. The citizens of the United Arab Emirates, who decided to work in the agricultural sphere, receive the land from the state free, and water for watering at the symbolical prices. Moreover, they also receive the money for a full or partial refund of salaries of the hired agricultural workers. (Maitra, 2007).
In the United Emirates, there are quite numerous and powerful armed forces, police and other power structures. Exclusively local citizens serve there. In the 1980s, the Emirates turned into the large logistic center. The president Zayed bin Sultan and his successors conduct a very liberal policy of satisfaction of cultural, in particular, religious and needs of foreigners. Thus, there are Hindu, Buddhist temples and Christian churches in the UAE.
Father of the Nation
The name of the founder of the UAE nation and the father of people continues to live. The native of an old and noble Bedouin family with all its conventions and patriarchal customs, Zayed became one of the most talented and advanced leaders in the world, who absolutely rejected tyranny and usurpation of the power. Having come to the power, Sheikh Zayed visited a set of the world countries, thinking which government model will be most suitable for his country. He took the best both from the East, and from the West. He considered that the state and family should be based on traditional Muslim values, thus rejecting extreme manifestations of Islam: old dogmatics, intolerance and terrorism. The founding father of the UAE democracy Sheikh Zayed managed to turn the country which in fact was a tribal monarchy into one of the most sold world brands. The base of sovereign democracy in UAE is the law according to which 51% of the capital of any company in the UAE should belong to people. (Maitra, 2007).
The UAE went through a long way before it became a union. In December1971, the creation of the United Arab Emirates was proclaimed at the conference of seven emirates, held in Dubai. Only six of seven emirates of Contractual Oman entered a federal state. The new president Sheikh Zayed signed the treaty of friendship with Great Britain, which cancelled all former agreements concluded between the member emirates of the United Arab Emirates and the British government. In 1971, the state of the United Arab Emirates was founded, and Zayed became the president of the United Arab Emirates consisting of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Adzhman, Umm-el-Kayvayn, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras-el-Hayma, and El-Fudzheyra. Abu-Dhabi was elected as the temporary capital. Some days later, the UAE was admitted to the League of Arab States and the United Nations.
Sheikh Zayed was the resolute supporter of the use of the oil weapon in the struggle for honor and dignity of Arabs. The basic principle of the philosophy of the Sheikh Zayed as a leader of the nation stated that all resources of the country should be completely used for the welfare of people. Oil money began to work for welfare of the nation. The popularity of Sheikh Zayed in his homeland was great. He was always close to the people and never lost contact with them. He was admired as an individuality who adequately preserved culture and traditions of the people and presented the United Arab Emirates to the world. Sheikh Zayed was the Father of the nation.