Construction Week Newsletter 6th November 2004

His Highness President Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is not easy to describe. Nor is the space of this column sufficient to count his contribution to this country and its people, and to the region and the world.

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By  Eudore Chand Published  November 6, 2004

Editorial Leader|~||~||~|

Architect of the nation

His Highness President Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan is not easy to describe. Nor is the space of this column sufficient to count his contribution to this country and its people, and to the region and the world. Sheikh Zayed was not only the Father of the UAE; his benevolence spread far and wide. His statesmanship and wisdom was renowned and respected the world over. His generosity was exceptional and his benevolence legendary. There are times in history that the world witnesses the advent of a person who has the ability of effect fundamental changes that have a global impact. The exceptional personality that history sends us time and again is faced with the choice to put his or her ability and capability to good use or to utilise it in negative and harmful pursuits. For the fortunate people of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed was a man who desired only the best for his people. Our Late President learnt the lessons of life not from text books of the sophists. He acquired the earthy wisdom that comes to those who live close to nature. He learned of human ways from the people he interacted with. He received education from the masters of the desert, the Bedouins. It is not enough to only acquire wisdom. Sheikh Zayed was endowed with that unique facility to intelligently adapt and use his wisdom to face various situations and challenges he faced in life. It must not have been very easy for him. As a young man, when he ascended the throne of Abu Dhabi, the life he was used to was almost pastoral. Recovery and export of oil suddenly changed everything. This could have left even the best of men flustered, disoriented and in limbo. But then, Sheikh Zayed was better than the best. He took the mushrooming wealth of Abu Dhabi not as a personal gain. But, as a means to effect development that would have far reaching impact on the peoples of this region. He wisely utilised resources and channelled them into development projects. For a man with little formal education as we know it, Sheikh Zayed's management capabilities extended far beyond the best from MIT, Harvard or the likes of them. Who, but Sheikh Zayed, could wrestle with the desert to build a modern state with all the latest comforts for its people? Where tiny principalities existed dependent on fishing and pearling, now flourish spanking new cities involved in global commerce and financial flows. While modern capitals of the world evolved over hundreds of years and even centuries, Sheikh Zayed forced the pace down to just a couple of decades. He was not only a builder of cities, Sheikh Zayed was the builder of the nation. Even an extraordinary man would have been content with what Sheikh Zayed achieved for the emirate of Abu Dhabi. But not His Highness. Sheikh Zayed had the ability to cobble together a nation out of the seven emirates, which formed the then Trucial States of Oman. Sheikh Zayed was one of the very few leaders of men that were not only respected, but overwhelmingly loved by the people. Today, the nation mourns his passing away. With Sheikh Zayed, an era has passed. But though he may be gone, he has left markers for the nation's future path. He has shown and taught us that even the unachievable can be achieved. Construction Week salutes His Highness Sheikh Zayed The Great.||**||

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