Saif bin Zayed: Positive patriotism drives future governments 1st add

Sheikh Saif escorted to the podium an elite of UAE innovative students and conscripts of the national military service as a symbol of true citizenship based on excellence and innovation.

As he reviewed an old photo of a group of young UAE men celebrating their humble life, he said, ”The spirit of positive patriotism, optimism and hope for a promising future had long been a dream of the UAE people and leaders, who defied the harsh life and scarcity of resources in the past to continue building their nation.” Positive patriotism, he said, means reacting positively and serves as a key to the success of future governments and as a factor that unites people and helps in development.

”Citizenship is more than merely belonging to the nation and proving it with identity documents. Rather it is a practice of loyalty and service to the nation’s higher interests in a strong and continuous way and in different circumstances and times as part of a common destiny.” Outlining major challenges facing future governments, Sheikh Saif said they were the same rapidly changing, increasingly complicated and dangerous challenges because of their connection to aanced sciences, human knowledge and development.

However, he noted, terrorism and low oil prices have emerged as the most two pressing challenges that comprise international stability. Terrorism, old and new, has the same sources and motives based on extremism, fanaticism, hatred and ignorance.

He explained that old terrorism used traditional weapons to inflict direct material destruction, while the new terrorism targets minds, family and the society through an arsenal of aanced technologies that are more lethal, such as the internet and social media. Terrorists and criminals have abused these technologies to vent their ideological poison among the youngsters and other segments in the community to raise an intellectually distorted generation and build families based on extremism and hatred, a family that cannot contribute something positive and whose prime goal is to undermine the security and stability of the society.

The UAE leaders, he recalled, had been very conscious of these challenges even before these emerged. He screened a film showing the late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, warning a group of students from the UAE University about foreign poisonous intellectual trends. Sheikh Zayed, he noted, had sensed these challenges very early and recognised the importance of direct interaction and dialogue as well as good counselling in order to enhance the spirit of positive patriotism among the youths, makers of the nation’s future.

”Confronting terrorist ideology is a collective and common responsibility, starting from the family through dissemination of anti-terror thought process and preaching true positive values in our local society, based on tolerance and moderation.