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UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, H.H Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan inaugurated the 'Sheikh Zayed and Europe: a Journey' Exhibition at The Founder's Memorial in Abu Dhabi on 24 November.
Organised by the European Union Delegation to the United Arab Emirates and the Austrian and Bulgarian Presidencies of the Council of the EU for the year 2018, the exhibition, held under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will run until 31 January 2019.
H.E. Dr. Antonella Mei-Pochtler, Special Advisor to the Austrian Federal Chancellor attended the opening ceremony along with H.E Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, President of the Federal National Council and Minister of State, Zaki Nusseibeh, government officials, the Ambassadors of the 25 EU Member States present in the UAE and 150 other VIPs.
The exhibition was organised in collaboration with more than 16 Emirati and International organisations.
UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed stressed the importance of the exhibition and its role in shedding light on Sheikh Zayed's pioneering efforts in establishing a strong and strategic relationship between the UAE and EU countries. In a statement on the occasion, Sheikh Abdullah said: "Sheikh Zayed was inspired by what he saw in Europe, and wanted the same for his people. And with the new revenues generated by oil sales, he was able to embark upon major construction and development projects at home, to ensure that the people benefitted from their wealth, and to work for unity and federation in the region.”
In his welcoming address, EU Ambassador to the UAE, H.E Patrizio Fondi said: 'In celebration of the year of Zayed, we are very happy to be organising this exceptional exhibition under the patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to allow the residents of the UAE to revisit Sheikh Zayed's historic relationship with Europe and to know more about the UAE's strong ties to the European Union.
The EU and the UAE are both united in diversity and the exhibition has been specially designed to take visitors on a sentimental journey that includes rare photos, short films, personal items and quotes from the founding father's trips to Europe starting in the early 1950s.
The exhibition features more than 50 items to question our eyes and minds: among the special items is Sheikh Zayed's vaccination card including his hand writing dating to 1951! Visitors will also get the chance to try Sheikh Zayed's perfume.'
Minister of State, H.E Zaki Nusseibeh said: "This exhibition is very special to me as it pays a special tribute to Sheikh Zayed, who was instrumental in establishing strong ties between the UAE and the EU, based on the key values of friendship and unity in diversity."
H.E. Yousef Al Obaidli, Director General of The Founder’s Memorial, said: “We are delighted to host this collection of precious artefacts, which reflects the fondness with which the late Sheikh Zayed is remembered around the world. The founding father travelled extensively, extending a sincere hand of friendship and cultivating personal connections throughout Europe and beyond. This new exhibition complements the visitor experience at The Founder’s Memorial, and will enable visitors to learn more about Sheikh Zayed’s journey as a renowned global statesman, whose visionary leadership remains a source of inspiration to us all.”
A line up of workshops and talks about different topics will be held on the side-lines of the exhibition for attendees as young as 5 year olds and older.
Running until 31 January 2019, the 'Sheikh Zayed and Europe: a Journey' Exhibition is open to the public 7 days a week from 9 am to 10 pm. Entry is free and group tours can be arranged by emailing SZandEurope@gmail.com
For more information about the exhibition, visit www.SZandEurope.com