Sheikh Zayed says…

The real wealth of a country is not its material wealth; it is its people. They are the real strength from which we draw pride and the trees from which we receive shade. It is our firm conviction in this reality that directs us to put all efforts in educating the people.

When I was in Abu Dhabi, I saw the preceding quote on a gallery wall. I think that says a lot about the former ruler of Abu Dhabi. Education is very important and helps combat ignorance, prejudice, fear, etc. and his focus on education has made the UAE one of the most liberal countries in the Muslim world. I loved that women weren’t punished for not wearing burkas, or for seeking to be educated. It’s progressive things like that are things we Westerners often take for granted.