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Mohammed bin Rashid, Mohamed bin Zayed, Rulers attend UAE National Day celebrations

Under the patronage of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister 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; and Their Highnesses Rulers of the Emirates and Crown Princes, the official 48th UAE National Day celebration wowed more than 20,000 attendees with an unprecedented theatrical production at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Titled ‘Legacy of Our Ancestors’, the 50-minutes monumental stage production, which was made possible thanks to the united efforts of 5,000 experts spanning from 70 countries, and featured 900 performers aged six to over-60, took an enthralled audience on a journey through UAE heritage under the light of the moon.
Spectators were treated to a show, which has never been witnessed before in the UAE, with a timeless narrative of stories showcasing the values deep-rooted in the cultural fabric of the proud nation, which have been passed down through generations.

Also, in attendance were a number of cabinet ministers, dignitaries and senior officials, alongside the 20,000 UAE citizens and residents.
The celebration began with a tribute to the life and legacy of the late Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President’s Representative who passed away in November. Sheikh Sultan left behind a rich heritage that will join the eternal legacy of the UAE ancestors.
He was committed to preserving the heritage of the UAE and the customs and traditions of its people. The tribute featured videos and poems that highlighted the pivotal role of Sheikh Sultan in fostering the unique elements of Emirati identity. The tribute was followed by the UAE National Anthem.Throughout the epic ‘Legacy of Our Ancestors’ production, the performers on the 10,000 square metre stage narrated historical UAE stories featuring the wisdom, resilience, faith, courage and dignity of the country’s forefathers who were the beacon of light that guided the UAE. The performers shed light on these stories, values and lessons upon which the UAE continues to flourish today.

The show told the story of a girl who dreamt of the moon and drew from its light wisdom and knowledge to write inspirational poetry that is immortalised in UAE history. Ousha Khalifa Al Suwaidi’s name became known throughout Arabia as Fatat Al Arab.

The stories also recalled the sorrows of a mother who stood day after day on the seashore under the moonlight patiently waiting for the return of her son; a story that gives lessons to the coming generations about the values of resilience and determination.

The story of a pearl diver who found fortune after a beautiful and valuable pearl caught in his beard, was also narrated. However, as the days progress the rich man loses all his fortune, but never loses hope and continues to be a hardworking man, thus depicting an epic story about hope and faith.
‘Legacy of Our Ancestors’ reminded the attendees of a story about God’s gifts; a story of the people of a village nearby the shore, who found during difficult times a large object on the shore, which turned out to be a huge whale. The whale was considered by the people as a gift sent to them by God to relieve their difficulties.

The show told an eternal story in the Emirati folklore: of seven unarmed men caught off guard by an invader. Folklore says that when Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa heard the news, he stood firmly and united the tribes under his leadership, rode his fierce Arabian horse ‘Rabdan’ to deter the invader, protect his nation and defeat the enemies - ultimately bringing peace to all.

"Legacy of Our Ancestors" mirrored the lessons and values drawn from Emirati folklore. The successful show crowned the collective efforts and teamwork of the thousands of participants who worked hard throughout the previous months to pay tribute to UAE’s heritage with the largest show that featured the moon and its unique presence in the country’s tradition and folklore.

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