DUBAI / WAM
HH Sheikha Mariam bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, addressed the World Government Summit in Dubai on Tuesday.
The speech was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council; Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of Federal National Council, FNC; HH Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, along with other Sheikhs, ministers and senior officials.
In ‘Choosing the Future We Came From’, Her Highness shared a number of personal stories to demonstrate the principles for life and leadership that she learned from her mother, Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, her father, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, her grandfather, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and her grandmother, HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, among others.
“The values and traditions of our ancestors are not only as applicable today as they were in the past, they are imperative to the future,” said Her Highness. “The collaborative principles of the majlis, the wisdom and lessons imparted through storytelling, the innovation, creativity and the Bedouin spirit of survival, all provide a blueprint for a prosperous future.”
She noted that the values and traditions of Bedouin culture, passed on to her by her family and from previous generations, provide a sound framework for developing an impactful and empowering leadership style.
“Leaders lead best when they empower their people, when they raise everyone up. It’s not about taking charge of others. It’s about taking responsibility for one another. That’s how Bedouins survived, that’s how communities grow. That’s what we teach our children today,” said Sheikha Mariam.
Her Highness also discussed the importance of events and initiatives designed to celebrate the culture and national identity of the UAE and ensure that the country’s traditions are passed on to younger generations.
“The vision of Sheikh Zayed has given us a national identity that we are proud of,” said Her Highness. “I encourage our youth to participate in these important cultural and traditional events, especially our national celebrations, and to share in these celebrations with their families and neighbours.”
Sheikha Mariam expressed her thanks and appreciation to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for his tireless efforts and commitment to investing in the UAE people, the country’s most important asset, and in humanity as a whole.
She also praised the success of the World Government Summit launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to realise his vision of strengthening the role of our government and advance UAE society.
Finally, Her Highness discussed the work of the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, the Abu Dhabi-based foundation that she established with her siblings in 2010 to honor their mother’s commitment to service. Guided by its mission “to invest in the future of the United Arab Emirates, by investing in its people,” the Foundation develops and supports a wide range of initiatives spanning art, culture and heritage; early childhood development; and health.
Sheikha Mariam said the values of the past fuel the success of the Abu Dhabi-based Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, a foundation she and her siblings established to honour their mother’s legacy. “With the Salama Foundation, my siblings and I have created a space allowing us to continue realising the ideas and ambitions of our mother, carrying forward her legacy of ambition and creativity on behalf of our people,” she said.
Her Highness added, “We have established the Foundation to embody the best of our past. Timeless values that were the blueprint for our forefathers are still relevant to the choices we make for our future. We practise honest and compassionate communication, decision-making that is inclusive of many perspectives, and we meet the future with fierce optimism that fuels our creativity.”
She said that work was a responsibility, not a token of prestige, adding that the Foundation was based on work full of dedication and optimism that promotes the spirit of innovation and creativity together with cooperation, integrity and humility as well as honest and open communication.
Sheikha Mariam explained that these principles were the basis of the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation as it carried out different projects. She praised the efforts of the Foundation’s staff and their perseverance which had contributed to its success and helped achieve its goals and humanitarian mission.