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When His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, May Allah Protect Him, said: “Whoever doesn’t have an identity does not exist in the present and does not have a place in the future,” his words were shaping what is clearly known as the philosophy of national identity. Later, it became the cornerstone for people’s, corporate and government action in order to enhance this concept and integrate it in the society, among young people in particular and all citizens in general even residents living in the UAE.

As the words of His Highness indicate, this identity is not only relative belonging but rather realistic and inevitable existence that organizes the movement of the present and plans for the future leaving a historical fingerprint that lasts after time lapses and place changes.

In this regard, we can delve into the concept of identity as seen by the UAE and decided by the strategy of its leadership. We need to exceed the initial definition of identity which does not cross the limits of belonging within the geographical or historical boundaries. It exceeds all that to make it a belonging to the future shaping the citizen belonging to this system into a cultural model following established prospects in which the identity holder resides.

This system of prospects sets the degree of maturity, loyalty and giving through intertwined standards flowing foremost from an overwhelming feeling of the citizen of his love and loyalty for his nation, not giving it up if for the entire world. The citizen considers his nation an inseparable part of him and cannot compromise his loyalty or belonging to it.

The basics of this commitment to the essence of national identity all pour into compliance with established values and virtues without which the citizen would fall into cultural intertwining that broke boundaries between human beings and bridged gaps turning the world into a small village where interests conflict and materialism has the upper hand at the expense of values.

It has to be stressed that this identity cannot be self-sustainable but must be always nourished by seeking knowledge, which is a main pillar of our culture and civilization. It is even the only weapon to penetrate the future as stated in the speech of His Highness, UAE President.

When national identity becomes an integrated feeling in people’s conscience, it automatically becomes the key to work towards serving the nation and enhancing cooperation, voluntarism and community work away from the trap of selfishness and self-centered thinking which pays no heed to social collaboration and support in building the renaissance and does not see their importance in advancing it. Boasting national identity awakens human conscience making it feel unique and important.

In this regard, endeavors seeking and calling for the national identity rose as the highest shared responsibilities that we must cooperate to establish. It is the responsibility of everyone either individuals or corporations. It also calls upon all of us to exert more efforts to maintain it as a national heritage to future generations.

Based on the above, the Ministry of Education approved the teaching of concept of identity in school curricula and educational activities in the current academic year. In this context, the importance enjoyed by the concept of identity is reinforced as it should contribute in raising the level of awareness of the importance of the population register and ID card project as one of the most remarkable strategic projects of the UAE adopted by its wise leaders. There is no doubt that it directly pours into supporting and achieving the mission and vision of national identity as they aim to contribute to achieving overall development in the UAE. Focusing on introducing this idea to students in early academic grades will have a tremendous impact on them in the future.

Finally, the ID card project must be lauded. The ID card contains high level security features according to the best global standards for security and safety in the field of digital technology and information security. Emirates Identity Authority endeavors, through this project, to establish a secure and safe population database of all inhabitants in the UAE. These endeavors to care for everyone and protect their rights and guarantee their safety and facilitate their life details embody the strategic principles calling for maintaining the national identity.

Norah Al Suwaidi, Al Bayan newspaper
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