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10 November, 2004

Exceptional vision

More than a week since his death, tributes to Sheikh Zayed still pour in, many giving startling new perspectives on him. It is well known that Zayed championed women's education and rights with in the UAE, but we learn that he also sent them abroad to be educated and insisted they be given managerial positions. In Gulf culture, to send women away from their families at any age is still unthinkable among many tribes and families. Yet here was Zayed personally encouraging and paying for young girls to go to schools overseas.

He also shook women's hands - which some Muslim men refuse to do, due to misguided piety:

"Recalling an incident with Shaikh Zayed [Hussa Al Khaldy] said: "I was once shaking his hand and he said: "This is not the hand of a woman, this is the hand of a woman that is equal to 20 men."

"It was because of Sheikh Zayed that I never felt that any man was better than me or that I couldn't do something because I was a woman."



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its true that Shaikh Zayed was an incredible man with a great vision for his country and his people.
Sadly, I don't think he would have been pleased with the progress of many young local youth or their strange sense of values, morality and general attitude towards working and behaving responsibitly.

28 July, 2005 03:03  

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