The National Archives unlocks the history of Sheikh Zayed during “Memory of the Nation” annual exhibit.

The National Archives unlocks the history of Sheikh Zayed during “Memory of the Nation” annual exhibit.

Visitors of the current edition of Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival
The National Archives unlocks the history of Sheikh Zayed during “Memory of the Nation” annual exhibit


National Archives participated in annual Zayed's Heritage Festival through “Memory of the Nation” pavilion. In the exhibit, visitors observe large screens displaying historical photographs that document significant milestones in the history of the Founding Leader Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The photographs reveal some of his work, values, great achievements and national endeavors.  Sheikh Zayed made history.  He will remain a symbol for wisdom and giving.  His life story will always be an inspiration and a guide for generations to come. 
“Memory of the Nation” pavilion sheds light on the period during which Sheikh Zayed governed Al Ain Region.  This period lasted for about twenty years (1946-1966), and witnessed many political, economic and social developments. This time was a rich experience that paved the way for Sheikh Zayed to rule the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, until he became the President of the UAE in 1971.
Inside the Pavilion, one can see traditionally designed window frames that open up to Zayed's visual history.  State of the art screens display old photographs in an untraditional way. Visitors can notice how advanced the displays' technology is, as they interact with the photographs making history appealing to viewer.
The photographs show Sheikh Zayed’s interest in horses.  Sheikh Zayed promoted horse breeding and directed to establish modern stables to raise and care for highbred Arabian horses, which take part in many horse races in Europe to highlight their competency.
The screens also display aspects of Sheikh Zayed’s interest in falajs in Al Ain during his reign in Al Ain Region.  Falajs were important for agriculture that Al Ain was known for. He participated in digging falajs and paid for restoration and repair out of his own pocket.  Falajs become a vital source of fresh water in Al Ain and the surrounding farms.
Technology and interactive screens helped acquaint visitors with Zayed’s history by displaying his tours of Al Ain farms and villages.  Zayed's governing philosophy was based on engaging his people. This was evidenced by the fact that he was close to his people and checking on them plus putting a lot of effort to make their life happy and their dream come true.
A great photograph of Sheikh Zayed is the one in which he is sitting and contemplating the vast area of land in front of him. With his optimism and insight, he set forth unlimited building and development plans; the beginning of modern development of the UAE.  He first started with his region, Al Ain and its villages, and went on with the same plans to modernize the country.
Sheikh Zayed became the expected ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the founding leader of the Union, and UAE’s first president. He impressed the world due to his efforts in achieving development and prosperity in a record time.
“Memory of the Nation” pavilion exhibited historical photographs and documentary films that highlight important milestones in the history of Sheikh Zayed. This is quite noticeable in the three main periods of his journey in life. The first period is from 1946 to 1966.  During this time was the ruler of Al Ain and the ruler’s representative in the Eastern Region. The second period was ruling Abu Dhabi from 1966 until the founding established the Union in 1971. The third period highlights some aspects of Sheikh Zayed’s contributions since his accession to power in Abu Dhabi and becoming the president of the UAE in 1971, until he passed away in 2004.