Vital Role of Culture in Prosperity and Development
- 8 December 2009
His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and President of ECSSR, recently opened a Japanese tea kiosk at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The event, and the statements made by him on the occasion, carry significance for various reasons. The first is the openness of the United Arab Emirates to different cultures while reflecting the country’s desire to learn about the cultures and traditions, both in the West and the East, out of sheer respect for them.
This appreciation is due to the role played by culture in forming the consciousness of nations and progress while facing the challenges that come with it. This is especially true for Japan’s rich cultural experience which has been intact even while it entered the league of advanced nations battling huge catastrophes and calamities. The country’s culture and its positive values have played a prominent role in accomplishing this achievement. The other significant aspect attached to this is the UAE’s appreciation of Japan’s cultural and development models which are based on combining tradition with modern ideas. Despite the huge advancement made by Japan in all fields, it is determined to preserve its old traditions that are considered important for the strength of its society. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed touched upon this by acclaiming Japan’s traditions and the adherence of its families to these traditions despite the trappings of modern life. Perhaps one of the reasons behind admiration of this Japanese model is its similarity to the UAE in terms of respect for age-old cultures and traditions. At a time when the UAE is ensuring all means of advancements in adopting modern life it retains the fervor for its heritage, culture and positive ideas. The country is aware that progress does not mean abandoning the heritage and that an ambitious surge for the future must have roots in the past and the present. Perhaps this is one of the most important reasons guiding social stability in the UAE and the driving force behind the healthy relations and interactions within the society. The third aspect is the interest of the UAE in getting acquainted with the Japanese culture and tradition and its expression of respect as a bid to develop good relations with Japan at all levels.
This respect is based on the view that UAE’s relations with Japan is important at the regional and global levels as it is one of the big economic powers in the world seeking a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed said that the UAE has strong relations with Japan and extends support in various spheres of activities, culture being one of them. The interest of the UAE in learning about Japanese culture undoubtedly reflects a deep political understanding of the dimensions of the relations and the factors that strengthen the two countries. Culture is one of the most important aspects as it has the ability to bring people together and build a solid foundation for relationships in the different fields of politics, economy, science and others.