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Sheikh Zayed Grand mosque, Abu Dhabi
Wikipedia-TSgt Suzanne M. Day
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan ( Arabic : زايد بن سلطان آل نهيان), (1918 – 2 November 2004), the principal driving force behind the formation of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was the ruler of Abu Dhabi and first president of the UAE, a post which he held for over 30 years (1971–2004).
His religious tolerance of Christians and the freedom given Western workers sojourning in the UAE was in marked contrast to most neighbors in the region and exposed him to criticism from other more conservative nations.
Sheikh Zayed was respected around the world for his unifying influence and his drive to make the Emirates one nation.