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Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed: A loss to the humanitarian world

posted on 31/03/2010: 1886 views

It is not only the country who sheds tears on the profound loss of a great human being, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the son of the nation's founding father and the brother of his virtuous successor. The hearts of millions of people cry on the departed soul who died when a glider carrying him crashed into a lake near Rabat, Morocco in an unfortunate accident.

People in fraternal and friendly countries knew the benevolence of this noble Sheikh and his charitable legacy. He was the man of giving, compassion, kindness and great humanitarian behaviour. Then his demise is a loss to the nation and the humanity at the same time.

The death of Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed is a real shock to the humanitarian movement that characterizes the UAE society and their culture mooted in compassion and sympathy for others regardless of race, colour, religion, affiliation.

It was on these true Arab values the country strengthened itself since the moment the Federation came into being at the hands of the late Sheikh Zayed. It was on those values the march continued led by HH President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was born in 1969 in Al Ain. He graduated from the United Arab Emirates University and then joined Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) in 1994.

Since joining ADIA, His Highness worked in a number of different divisions. This enabled him to familiarise himself with many aspects of various investments and portfolios.

In 1997, His Highness was appointed as the Managing Director of the ADIA as per an Emiri from the Deputy Ruler of Abu Dhabi emirate. He was appointed member of the Supreme Petroleum Council on 19 April 2005 as per a decree by the Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Ahmad was ranked 27th on the 2009 Forbes list of the world's most powerful people who will have a significant role in the economy of the Middle East.

In an interview published in German business daily Handelsblatt, Sheikh Ahmed said "We prefer to be seen simply as a globally-diversified investment institution, with the difference being that our owner is the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi." "ADIA's sole mission, which has not changed in over 30 years, is to secure and maintain the current and future welfare of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This ensures that our investing strategy stays focused on long-term trends rather than the ups and downs of individual cycles," he added.

H.H Sheikh Ahmed always avoided the limelight and gave very rare statements to the media, for the institution he ran demands a personality who is very considerate about statements which could be highly sensitive and of great impact on other big financial corporations.

Among the first decisions he took as a managing director was increasing the budget for training and cooperation programs with internationally renowned academic institutions such as Harvard University thus focusing on recruiting and highly qualified and skilful people from around the world as well as keeping them within a highly competitive organisational structure.

A number of people who closely worked with him for ADIA said: "For us, Sheikh Ahmed was very humble and unpretentious, highly accurate and realistic in organising and planning." "He taught us that orderliness is above all personal considerations and nobody shall override it", they added stressing that "the changes which he made throughout his tenure at ADIA were essential and focused on human resources, therefore programs for education and development of qualified people and encouraging national resources were full."

Sheikh Ahmed's engagements and work in economics did not kept him away from engaging in humanitarian and social work. Ever since he was appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Zayed Foundation for Charity and Humanitarian Works in 1996 in an Emiri decree issued by Deputy Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Ahmed directly followed up on the Foundation's work. His other engagements did not keep him away from focusing on all the details about the Foundation which was named after his father, the Late "Zayed of Giving." Throughout his career, Sheikh Ahmed made significant and practical successes. He is well known of engaging in charity work and volunteering for several humanitarian organisations and charities in the UAE and overseas.. He was also known of his humanitarian initiatives and passion for sports, falconry and other traditional sports in particular.

H.H Sheikh Ahmed is father of a boy, born in 2008, named Zayed, after his father, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, May Allah Rest them both in Peace and Grant them a Place in Paradise. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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