“Our father is the kindest father, in our hearts we hold for him so much respect.” These were the lyrics of one of the oldest songs we used to chant during school celebrations about the UAE and Baba Zayed. Simple words that represent joy and bliss. Simple words which we sang from the bottom of our hearts. So much love, respect and gratitude do we hold for this dear country. No matter what we do, we can never repay its gifts.
If anyone wanted to understand the meaning of Love, they should forget about searching for it in a dictionary. Instead, they should look at how the Emiratis love Sheikh Zayed, may he rest in peace, and in return how they cherished this precious country. We are beyond lucky to be the people of this land, we have learned how to love, how to give, how to appreciate, and more important than all, how to be loved.
We lived under the wing of a man who protected and treated us like his own. Even other countries felt the strength of his temperate love. From him we’ve learned the fundamentals to create a strong, loving family. The mere reference to him as “Baba (dad)” is implausible. How many people on Earth have referred to their ruler as “dad”?! Love…Love… Love!
When we lose someone we love, someone who meant the world to us, what remains is his/her memory. One of the most beautiful ways to preserve these precious moments are photographs; to capture someone’s genuine smile, to capture an expression so that every time you look at that photo, those wonderful feelings would come back rushing to you.
The older these photos get, the more meaningful they become. One of the oldest, most famous photos of Baba Zayed is the one above. A ruler, a man with so many responsibilities, sitting with a group of children, playing with them, laughing, and beyond all, loving them. What is wonderful about this captured moment is that he seems to be enjoying his time the most; anyone can tell that from that shining smile. Love… so much genuine Love!
We would think that as the years go by, we would gradually forget our loved ones. Turns out we thought wrong, at least when it came to this loving man. When we see how far a ruler might go to keep his position and to maintain sovereignty, even if it means the destruction of his own people, all we can say is thank God for our guardians and rulers. It is a true blessing to live under the protection of people who look for our own good more than we do. Their honest love is the reason we love them so much; they look out for us, and in return we look out for them.
Many of us heard about the Cleaning Jumeira campaign last year; a group of locals went out to celebrate and express their love to their country. After the celebration, Jumeira road was a mess, so a group of young boys and girls went out and cleaned the streets. Why? There are workers who are paid to clean. It’s called love, and this is how they express it. We don’t want someone to tell us how much they love us, we want them to show us how much they truly love us.
Baba Zayed started with this country from scratch, and now we live in one of the most prosperous countries in the world. He was motivated to achieve and work hard and plan because he loved his people and he loved his land. Not anyone has the ability to accomplish what a simple Bedouin like him has done in such a short time.
Our loving father, Sheikh Zayed, once said, “ We do not judge an individual based on his/her origins, we judge him/her based on what they have done to express their love for their country. To build on that statement, I quote Lord Byron, “He who loves not his country, can love nothing”
A leader, a father, a ruler, and a role model, a man who in return raised leaders and lovable rulers to carry on his footsteps. A man whose love reached many, a man whose love changed lives, a man whose love built a strong nation, a man whose love reached millions and millions of people, a man whose love gave birth to more love and love that the entire world can be a witness to, a man whose love is a source of inspiration, a man whose love guided him to stand out in every field, a man whose love made him a father to all, a man whose love is the reason why we still talk to our children about how great and kind he was, a man whose love is immortal since even those who haven’t seen him fall in love with him.
In the inspiration of the UAE’s 41st National Day, “love” was mentioned 41 times in this article. Go on, you can count them.
Hamda AlHashemi is a 20 something year old interior design graduate, and an SZHP employee. She appreciates art, food, psychology and culture. For her, Arabic calligraphy is music for the eyes; beautiful and calming. She thrives to become an entrepreneur of her own furniture line and aims to get her Phd on the long run. Hamda’s articles revolve around how our psychological thoughts influence our actions, and how to use them to our advantage.