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The United Arab Emirates is celebrating three special occasions these days. The first occasion is the seventh anniversary of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan’saccession to ruling Abu Dhabi and being elected as President of the United Arab Emirates by the Supreme Council members and the rulers of the emirates, who showed their continued support and trust by reelectingHis Highness as UAE President in 2009.

This festive occasion takes place amid celebrations throughout the whole nation marking forty years since founding this dear nation under the leadership of our sheikhs, men and women, young and old who had the strong will and took up the challenges making them a unique model to follow in building nations.

This special anniversary takes place while we are preparing to celebrate Eid al-Adha or the Greater Eid which carries meanings of sacrifice, patience and selflessness, the values on which the sons and daughters of this country relied in building their nation throughout the last four decades. They built a nation which we are extremely proud to be part of. The march of building this nation was based on strong principles established by the founding leader Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his brethren, the founding rulers. This march witnessed milestones of development and progress and revolutionized the concept of nation building. It resulted in the wealth and prosperity of the citizens and progress and welfare of the nation.Political development was also a significant outcome of thismarch. The political participation of citizens was reinforced last September as membership of the electoral colleges was expanded in an unprecedented way.

The citizen in this country is blessed with tasting the beauty of the achievements and initiatives taken for the welfare and prosperity of one generation after another. The United Arab Emirates ranked the top Arab country in the 2011 Human Development Index (HDI). This ranking is achieved by the vision of a leader who exerted sincere efforts for this nation and its citizens, and in turnthese citizens are ready to sacrifice everything dear to them for their nation.

The era of Sheikh Khalifa also focused on national identity but without isolation, rather with the purpose of building bridges of friendship and partnerships with the world’s cultures by spreading the spirit of tolerance and love and making the UAE an oasis of love and peace.

On this national occasion, as festivities and prayers are everywhere reflecting a sense of pride in the leader of achievements, everyone is racing to express the purest meanings of loyalty to our Khalifa, asking God to keep our UAE safe, secure and dignified continuing in its march of progress and prosperity under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President.

By Ali Al Amudi Al Ittihad
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