ABU DHABI: Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development has stressed the importance of UAE youth saying that ministry is working on National Youth Strategy. “A country’s only true resource is its youth,” he quoted the saying of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, while speaking at a meeting of the British Business Group (BBG) yesterday evening at St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi in the presence of British Ambassador to UAE Dominic Jermey and Chairman BBG, Richard S Oliver.
Sheikh Nahyan said, “As we develop our National Youth Strategy, we will be consulting many of you because the actions of the BBG have demonstrated that you agree with Sheikh Zayed. You will have ideas that will help us plan wisely for our only true resource.” The Minister told the gathering about the draft law of introduction of national services and reserve saying a new reality for young Emirati men and, by extension, for young Emirati women as well, is national military service. “We believe that the military experience will bring countless benefits to all concerned. We must foresee those benefits and plan to use them effectively. To be sure, national military service will have a prominent role in our National Youth Strategy.” The United Arab Emirates is a global community and Emiratis live in the midst of citizens of nearly every other country in the world. “We recognize that the economic success of our country depends on global interaction, my ministry also recognizes that, whatever their cultural differences, citizens of other cultures are comfortable trading with the UAE, visiting the UAE, and living and working in the UAE. Their comfort results from their recognition of universal virtues exhibited by Emiratis with whom they come in contact. At the Ministry of Culture, we believe that the many virtues exhibited by most Emiratis define the Emirati identity,” he remarked.
The clearest way to appreciate the paramount virtues of Emiratis is to examine the well-documented actions of a single person whom all Emiratis admire. That person is Sheikh Zayed, the leader who united the Arab Emirates. Seven virtues characteristically marked his actions, and they identify him today.
Sheikh Zayed exhibited the virtues of WISDOM, COURAGE, PRUDENCE, TEMPERANCE, LOYALTY, JUSTICE and GENEROSITY. Emiratis know Sheikh Zayed as a wise, courageous, prudent, temperate, loyal, just, and generous person. Likewise, knowledgeable global citizens identify him with those virtues and are prone to expect those virtues in all Emiratis. Ever eager to embrace their heritage, Emiratis cultivate those virtues, and they constitute the essential identity of the Emirati culture. The Ministry of Culture is dedicated to promoting that identity and protect that culture, Sheikh Nahyan said.
The leaders of the United Arab Emirates are working creatively to establish our country as the world’s most desirable and rewarding global crossroad. They know that such a vision entails, as President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has noted [and I quote] “a greatly diversified demography” and the obligation for [quoting again] “respecting human rights for all who live in our country and providing them with ways to live with dignity.” He is, in essence, alluding to our government’s understanding that we govern a global society at this global crossroad. From my point of view in the ministry, our existence as a global society presents us with the wonderful opportunity to promote a global culture. Accordingly, “We are adopting the concept of “Culture for ALL”. ALL means all segments of society, all ages, all nationalities, all regions of the country. We aim to encourage and support expressions of all cultures within our country, united as we are by a respect for universal virtues that we would all like to possess,” the minister pointed out.
To that end, we will promote those virtues that mark Emirati identity. We will also seek to become a world renowned center for promoting the utility and beauty of the Arabic language and for communicating an enlightened understanding of Islamic civilization. Our third cultural goal is to build on the achievements of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Dubai Expo 2020 will be a global showcase for global cultures. Everyone in the UAE will reach new levels of understanding and appreciation of the many cultures represented in the Expo. Likewise, all visitors to the museums on Saadiyat Island will, I predict, return time and time again as they deepen their knowledge about the various cultural artifacts at the Guggenheim, the Louvre, and the Zayed National Museum. Already other residents have been inspired by our leaders’ respect and embrace of evidence from other cultures.
The government and the people of UAE have already taken huge steps toward my ministry’s goal of Culture for ALL. “We aim to promote and support all of those initiatives and to add some of our own. We will form strong connections with established and aspiring writers and artists.” “We will found centers of creativity that are inviting to artists from the UAE and from countries abroad, centers where they can learn, create, and nurture their imaginations together. We take a wide view of global culture to include imaginative entrepreneurial efforts related to the arts, exemplified so well by the British Embassy and Reed Smith in their support of project “Sougha.” We firmly acknowledge the cultural significance of archaeology, as so ably carried out by Peter Hellyer and his associates. We see sports as a key to cultural understanding and already appreciate the efforts of Commander Johnson and the Abu Dhabi Harlequins to demystify the game of rugby.” Next year I expect that the Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Community Development will have turned the concept of Culture for ALL into a thriving, popular, and productive feature of life in the United Arab Emirates.
In his concluding remarks Sheikh Nahyan read famous quotes from the William Shakespeare, saying “I am giddy; expectation whirls me round; The imaginary relish is so sweet, That it enchants my sense.
“Shakespeare’s words extend to all cultures and enchant us all. Indeed, I am giddy with expectation and am deeply grateful for this opportunity to share my expectations with you cherished friends in the British community. Without you, my expectations would be diminished. With you, I am confident of success. Thank you for your support,” he concluded.