Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute) on Wednesday hosted the debut show of a documentary on the rich life of the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. A production of the Franco-German TV network ARTE (Association Relative a la Television Europeenne), the documentary will be aired on ARTE+7 at 10:50 p.m., UAE time, on 26th May.
"Cheikh Zayed Une Legende Arabe" (Sheikh Zayed: An Arab Legend), was directed by former French Minister of Culture and Communication, Frederic Mitterrand. The documentary sheds light on Sheikh Zayed's sagacity, diplomacy, vast knowledge of the influential political powers in the Arab region as well as his popularity and efforts to promote friendship and cooperation with neighbours in the Arabian Peninsula and Gulf.
In a statement to WAM, Mitterrand described Sheikh Zayed as a global epitome of the peace-lover and a man with a realistic vision based on promoting peaceful coexistence and reconciliation and rejecting disputes. These traits, said the director, bolstered the UAE's stature internationally and enabled it to achieve great success in the sphere of international diplomacy.
"The great achievements of the UAE are attributed mainly to Sheikh Zayed's vision for the concept of the state and its development," the director said citing the late leader's generosity and unwavering commitment to the poor among his other traits that earned him and his country increased international respect.
Some rare photos used in the documentary had never been published before. They were kept in the archives of oil companies since 1960, Mitterrand noted.
"The main reason behind producing the documentary is to introduce this global personality to Europe and the West. He is credited with establishing a state that the world today looks up at with great admiration. It is also aimed at introducing Sheikh Zayed's sagacity and insights."
"Thanks to the sagacity, farsightedness and plans, and the joint efforts of Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, the UAE has earned a well-deserved place among the world's oil producers and built a diverse economy with non-oil sectors," Mitterrand added, noting that the prosperity of the UAE has enabled its citizens to enjoy the best social services, namely free education, housing and healthcare, the benefits that paved the way for fast-paced growth and record development.