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Biographies arrow Zayed: A Man Who Built A Nation (Arabic)

Zayed: A Man Who Built A Nation (Arabic)

Zayed: A Man Who Built A Nation (Arabic)

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Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was born in 1912 on the impoverished, isolated and largely ignored Trucial Coast. As a member of the ruling class, his childhood could be considered to be relatively privileged, but it was also one scarred by the difficulties of the era. The tragic death of his father, regional economic collapse and difficult political conditions meant that it was a hard, uncertain life.

Sheikh Zayed emerged through this with a reputation as a leader of note. While his brother, Sheikh Shakhbout, was Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed served as wali of Al Ain, a period in which he revived the economy of the area and became famous for refusing a bribe that equated to around a billion dollars in today’s money.

In 1966 the Ruling family brought him to power in Abu Dhabi. The people were clamouring for schools and hospitals, eager to be wrenched from the choking poverty of the past.

There was also a huge political concern. A dangerous political vaccum, caused by the British withdrawal, was set to leave the Trucial States dangerously vulnerable. It was up to Sheikh Zayed to lead the fractious process toward statehood. Failure was not an option.

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