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Founding Father of the UAE commemorated in India

‘Zayed Legacy’, featuring a seminar and exhibition of photographs of the Founding Father of the UAE, marked the start of the Year of Zayed celebrations in India, jointly organized by the UAE Embassy in New Delhi and Dubai Police, in association with the Zayed International Foundation for the Environment.

The Year of Zayed celebrations was launched in India on 2nd May, 2018 at the country’s capital, New Delhi, with a seminar and an exhibition of rare photographs of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the UAE. The event, titled ‘Zayed Legacy’, was organised jointly by the UAE Embassy in New Delhi and Dubai Police, in association with the Zayed International Foundation for the Environment.

The dignitaries attending the event included a specially invited gathering of prominent Indian environmentalists, bureaucrats and Arab diplomats including the Ambassadors of Oman and Saudi Arabia. The high-profile invitees were given an insight into how the timeless legacy of the Founding Father lives on in the Year of Zayed not only in the UAE but also around the world.

Timeless legacy of UAE’s Founding Father

Dr. Mohamed bin Fahad, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police and Chairman of the Zayed Foundation, and Dr. Meshgan Mohamed Al Awar, Director, Research & Studies Center, Dubai Police Academy, and Secretary-General of the Zayed International Prize for the Environment, spoke about how at the heart of UAE’s spectacular achievements, lie the guiding values and vision of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

To mark the event, Dr. Mohamed bin Fahad opened an exhibition of photographs on the life of Sheikh Zayed at the Leela Hotel in New Delhi’s Diplomatic Enclave in the presence of several prominent Indian and Arab dignitaries. The rare photographs show the UAE’s Founding Father nurturing his nascent federation in its early years, highlighting also his efforts in protecting the environment – a passion that stemmed long before the birth of the nation.

Dr. Bin Fahad also delivered the opening address of the seminar.

Addressing the august audience, Dr. Meshgan Mohamed Al Awar, gave a detailed presentation on the prestigious prize, its inception and its global motivation. She familiarised the audience about the Foundation, briefing them about its history and explained that it was founded in 1999 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to recognise and encourage environmental achievements, promote the implementation of Agenda 21, Millennium Development Goals, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation for Sustainable Development, Outcomes of Rio+20 and Sustainable Development Goals, in line with the vision and philosophy of Sheikh Zayed.

Tributes to Sheikh Zayed by world leaders

Dr. Al Awar quoted from tributes paid to Sheikh Zayed by world leaders when they were in office – such as former United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, ex-French President Jacques Chirac, former US Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and Britain’s reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II.

“The Zayed International Prize for the Environment, launched almost two decades ago, is honoured to bear the name of this leader who dedicated his life to environmental protection and sustainable development,” she added.

Both Dr. Fahad and Dr. Al Awar spoke of efforts by Dubai Police to promote sustainability through their roles in senior positions at Dubai Police. Captain Fahad Jassim Al-Ghuss, Director of Public Relations and Marketing at Dubai Police also attended the event.

Sheikh Zayed: One of the greatest heroes of the 20th century

The efforts of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the field of environment protection was also praised during the seminar by Dr. Ashok Khosla, Indian environmentalist and Founder of the Development Alternatives group. Speaking at the seminar, Dr. Khosla remarked that Sheikh Zayed was one of the "greatest heroes" of the 20th century because of his vision and his generosity in promoting causes for humanity.

A recipient of the Zayed International Prize for the Environment in its 6th edition, Dr. Ashok Khosla was awarded the prestigious Prize in 2014 for his efforts in helping make national development strategies in India more environmentally and socially sustainable.

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