By Reem Abdalla (@Reem096)
On the dawn of December 2nd 2011, the UAE will celebrate 40 years of unity, 40 years of success and 40 years of building a great nation. We celebrate our founding fathers and their unity of the seven emirates. As the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan said, “There is no glory without the glory of the country and its citizens. We have to be proud of our forefathers, who were able to face the harshness of life with a strong will and dedication to shape a better collective future.”
A collective future as Sheikh Zayed stated that ties the citizens together, which is where the concept of forming of the United Arab Emirates came to exist. Unity is the act, state, or quality of forming a whole from separate parts.
“Our experiment in a federation, in the first instance, arose from a desire to increase the ties that bind us, as well as from the conviction of everyone that they were part of one family and that they must gather under one leadership. (Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan).”
Although the population of the United Arab Emirates is made up of different races, nationalities and ethnicities, we grew to become one. We have learnt to live as one family, a family that is diverse in every cornerstone possible. Similar to our beloved seven Emirates, each Emirate is different by its nature but together it makes a whole. People must be encouraged to feel proud of the UAE’s cultural heritage. The UAE is a live example to the world of what the meaning of “Unity In Diversity”.
The UAE’s culture is dynamic and tolerant. The diversity of the UAE contributes to the variety and richness of the UAE’s culture and strengthens the national unity. Intolerance and narrow mindedness may weaken the national unity. Therefore, we should become conscious of the similarities in which makes the country rather than the dissimilarities which distinguish them from others.
Multicultural events provide opportunities for members of different communities to learn more about each other, thus, fostering increased awareness and understanding of the diversity within the human community. For instance, in the UAE we respect the different communities that reside within the country and celebrate with them in their festivities such as Diwali, 4th of July, Christmas, Chinese New Year, etc.
The value of a universal brotherhood is love for one’s neighbor. We have an obligation to the golden rule of treating others as we ourselves would wish to be treated. This is one of the ideals that is a common denominator in all cultures. We have to foster the social union and amity between people for the generations that reside within the country; get inspired by the great works of art that symbolizes these different communities.
Since we are accepting the philosophical foundation for the application of unity then traditional rivalries and vendettas must be forgotten and national borders transcended. The interdependence implied by the notion of the oneness of humanity requires a relinquishing of any idea or activity that allows for the suffering of a person. If we are interdependent, then the suffering of one affects us all.
We should not operate as individuals or in silos. True unity is achieved when each individual becomes an active and functioning participant in the whole. Performing the skills they possess as constructive and productive contributors to their local, regional, and global community. Enabling a productive contribution to human society is offered as service to the ongoing progress and development of the world without fear of exploitation and oppression.
21st Issue – December 2011
Here We Start – Art of Living 101 – Beyond Inspiration – Community Talk – Food For Thought
Interview – Just Another Undergrad – Sense and Sustainability – Society of Tomorrow
The First Years Last Forever – The Mind’s Eye – Too Blunt For Words – Words, Observations, and Ramblings
Reem aims through her quarterly column to explore issues in society and discuss emerging new trends. Listen to other people’s thought and view their perspectives about the subject. Then raise questions and form unbiased conclusions about it.