His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has delivered a speech at the conclusion of the Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations, a gathering for the youth being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
He conveyed the greetings of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to the participating students from Emirati universities and educational institutions.
A short film screened at the gathering depicted three types of people: tree leaves, branches and roots. The message the film sends across is that roots can weather storms, while leaves and branches are blown away. People who are like roots can be a solid source of support at times of crisis, while the absence and presence of those who are like leaves and branches make no difference for others.
"Yours is a journey of a generation for the whole nation. This generation has to work hard and equip itself with science so as to take the lead. You are a significant generation. We are honoured to have you. You are the source of good fortune for your country," Sheikh Mohamed told the participants.
Describing the youth as partners in the nation, he said, "We share in its happiness, progress, security, concerns and mission of deterrence. Those who carry the banner now will hand it over to the next generation. This is inevitable. It is the circle of life."
Recalling his early years, he compared between his generation and the present generation who are equipped with all disciplines of knowledge. He stressed that nationals should learn about the best technologies in the world.
"We have no choice but to rely on quality. Our real weapon is knowledge. Our ambition is to compete with the world's advanced nations such as Finland, New Zealand, South Korea and Singapore, that have achieved success in human development, education and economy," he told the youth.
He urged the youth to read the history of these countries to learn about their renaissance and progress and their approaches to success.
He cited three elements that are essential for any country in its quest to achieve success in competition. These are science as a weapon, investment in science, and knowledgeable leadership that has a definite and clear vision and roadmap.
Progress in this country cannot be made without the youth, he told the youth. "It is you, not the three million barrels of oil per day, who are the source of hope of this country, its future and real weapon."
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi cited the Emirates Advanced Research and Technology Holding LLC (Earth) and cybersecurity company DarkMatter as two outstanding national companies among the participants of the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, IDEX 2017.
"I met men and women engineers working on technology projects the majority of which were not in the military domain. I am proud that these industries are being run in my country by Emiratis," he said.
Speaking about the achievements made by the UAE under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, he said, "We have 23 million tourists, a strong economy, telecommunications networks that are excellent at both the regional and global level, and enjoy security and safety for which we thank Allah."
Seventy per cent of the Arab youth want to come and live in the UAE, according to specialised surveys, he said. "The reason is that fourty-seven or fifty years ago Allah blessed us with a wise leadership that laid the sound foundation and infrastructure for the launch of nation-building and development. Now, we breath fresh air and live a happy life."
"Yet, we have to make further efforts and develop a long-term vision and plan in a sound way to reach the set goals and enable the coming generation live happily and safely just like you do. We won't accept that the coming generation would be more privileged than you," Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed further said.
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi also spoke about Vice "Ta’mulat fi Asa’adah Wl Ejabia" (Reflections on Happiness and Positivity), the latest book authored by Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
"It is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read," Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said while reading out inspiring excerpts from the book.
"To my brother, friend and colleague in this journey: We learned from the founder of the UAE that the impossible is just a point of view, and that positivity and optimism are a lifestyle, and that the happiness of the Emirati people is the goal of government work in the UAE," Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid wrote to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed in the gift copy of the book.
Speaking on Japan, he praised the Asian country's moral education which was introduced in 1870 when the Japanese recognised a decline of some traditions and customs.
"We Arabs have beautiful values that we want to promote, preserve and instill on the minds of our citizens. We should continue to learn. Learning does not hinge on age, but on diligence," H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed further said.
He offered a rich tribute to the Emirati martyrs and lavishly praised their mothers for their patriotism.
The mother of one of the martyrs presented a strategic theory when I was offering condolences to her. "She said that we should preempt danger and nip it in the bud", Sheikh Mohamed added.
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi greeted all women on the occasion of the International Women's Day, observed on 8th March every year.
"I am highly optimistic about the next fifty years despite the fact that we live in a region facing various challenges and different viewpoints. However, I am confident that the UAE is just like a light in the dark. I am not exaggerating. I am citing figures, and figures do not lie. Regardless of the challenges it is facing, the UAE is a good model for the Middle East region. How may positive message were sent from the Middle East to the rest of the world in the past 60 years? Well, your country sends a positive message to the world each and every day," he said.
He urged all citizens to be good representatives of the UAE abroad, and noted that the UAE's hosting of Expo 2020 Dubai should be used to project the country's urban and cultural progress as well as aspects related to knowledge, national identity and traditions.
Concluding, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi told the youth to reflect a good and positive image of their country by their knowledge, good education and patriotism, which, he noted, will be their weapon in the coming period.