SPAA celebrates UAE’s 49th National Day in its own special way

On Wednesday, 2 December the Sharjah Performing Arts Academy students and staff celebrated UAE’s 49th National Day with the creation of a special project. They proudly presented a beautiful version of the UAE National Anthem to say thank you and congratulate the United Arab Emirates for its generosity, tolerance, resilience and progress.

UAE National Day, also known as UAE Union day, celebrates the anniversary of the Union between the emirates in December of 1971. The UAE became a federation of six Emirates consisting of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain and Fujairah while the seventh emirate, Ras Al Khaimah joined the federation in 1972. Establishing itself as the largest and wealthiest of the seven emirates, Abu Dhabi was named the capital city.

The national anthem, Ishy Bilady (Long Live my Nation) was composed by Mohammed Abdel Wahab, an Egyptian singer and composer, it was officially recognised in 1971. The anthem later adopted the current lyrics in 1986 where they were written by Arif Al Sheikh Abdullah Al Hassan.

A select group of SPAA’s Musical Theatre students were chosen to accompany Michael Webborn’s (Lead Music Tutor) unique piano arrangement of the national anthem. The singers included Adel Badawy, Alia Khaled, Amir Zarkani, Hana Afifi and Laila Ashraf. Second-year student, Ahmed Almaazmi, proudly introduced the project, stating “Here at the Sharjah Performing Arts Academy, we celebrate with you 49 years of giving, tolerance, love, and goodness. From our family here. Happy national day to the beloved United Arab Emirates.”

“Thanks to the generosity and vision of His Highness, Ruler of Sharjah, our staff and students have this magnificent training facility which has become a home away from home for many,” Professor Barlow explained. “We have all been adopted by the UAE, and as such, it is only right that we pay homage to the customs and days of significance celebrated by our adoptive home.”

In a quote taken from the Gulf News on 1 December, His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, said that the UAE, “treats all its nationals and residents alike, forging ahead with a proven track record of achievements that have been possible — thanks to the Founding Fathers who instilled the noble values of unity, dedication and giving among our people. This helps in the evergreen pursuit of success and happiness”.

In a statement to ‘Nation Shield’, the UAE Armed Forces magazine, on the occasion of the 49th UAE National Day, Sheikh Sultan said: “Every year we celebrate our Union Day on 2nd December, a great day in the history of our nation, wherein we express our pride of ground-breaking achievements that have turned the UAE into a global model to be emulated for unity and cohesion across the globe. These achievements have earned our nation a much-coveted position that is sought after by the entire world.”

“On this day,” he continued, “we recall the historic decision made by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his brothers who established the Union. They all had a profound faith that unity is the right path towards development, progress and a decent life for the people of the nation.

On this noble occasion, I congratulate my brother President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan — may God bless him — and my brothers, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and the Rulers of the Emirates.”