Right way to celebrate

Today, Friday, November 3, will be a special day for those living in the United Arab Emirates when, on the call of the Emirati prime minister and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the national flag will be hoisted simultaneously on various public and private buildings at eleven o’clock in the morning to demonstrate national unity.

Sheikh Al Maktoum introduced this day in commemoration of the sacrifices and struggle of the great founder of the UAE Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (late) for becoming the president of the UAE in 2004.

The Emirati flag consists of four colors, in which red symbolizes bravery, strength, sacrifice and courage whereas green represents prosperity and hope for a bright future. White symbolizes peace, honesty and transparency, as this color is also considered to be an expression of the UAE’s charitable contributions for welfare activities around the world as well as the Emirati nation’s commitment to peace and security in the world. Black color in the flag vows for the rejection of injustice, intolerance and extremism.

The national flags of different Arab countries of the Middle East look similar with a little difference. According to some local perspectives, the red colour in Middle Eastern flags represents the color of the Ottoman flag and the green colour reflects the Fatimid Caliphate, while the white colour represents the blessed era of the Prophet of Islam and the black colour represents the early years of Islam.

Historically, after the establishment of the United Arab Emirates in 1971, a national-level competition was held to select the design of the national flag, in which an Emirati teenager, Abdullah Mohammed Al Maainah, was declared the winner. The teenager, at a later stage, achieved the significant post of the state minister of foreign affairs of the United Arab Emirates.

The founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed, officially raised the national flag for the first time on the occasion of the emirates’ union on December 2, 1971.

Undoubtedly, the late Sheikh Zayed was one of the great, visionary and influential world leaders of modern history, who believed in the importance of tolerance and co-existence, and followed such golden virtues throughout his life in letter and spirit. Due to his political insight, understanding, sincerity and tolerance, the UAE became one of the developed countries of the world.

According to him, God created all human beings as a free creature and therefore, every individual residing in his country must be free and have liberty of choice to adopt his/her own lifestyle. Being a good ruler, he believed that it is his prime duty to ensure that nobody must enforce his/her own ideology to other citizens. He was also a strong advocate of women empowerment and protection of rights of Non-Muslim community.

The UAE is also known as the land of tolerance based on a unique model of peace and co-existence for every citizen. The construction of an interfaith compound to promote religious harmony is also a great achievement where holy places of worship of different faiths including mosques, churches and synagogues are housed together. Residents of the Emirates also enjoy religious freedom to celebrate Holi, Diwali and Christmas, and other festivals with full zeal and enthusiasm. The construction of the UAE’s first hand-carved Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi has entered its final stages, and the Emirati government has announced plans to open it during the Festival of Harmony to be celebrated in February next year.

In my view, the celebration of Flag Day in the UAE is a lesson for us in the sense that this once backward region in the Middle East has gone far ahead of us after its creation. The main reason behind all the great achievements is to follow the peaceful vision of Sheikh Zayed wholeheartedly.

On the other hand, we are in a situation where God Almighty has blessed us with all kinds of resources, but we have forgotten the real vision of the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam. Regrettably, we have divided our national flag into colours of the majority and the minority with no justification.


Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.