2 thoughts on “UAE human rights”

  1. I hope Dr Christopher Davidson (see his comment on the UAE letter) has read my father’s (Sir Archie Lamb) monograph on ‘Abu Dhabi, 1965-68’ and the relevant chapter from his memoir, ‘A Long Way from Swansea’. There is also a passage on Shakhbut’s attitude to modernisation in the Cambridge Oral Histories. We tried to develop the monograph this year but a visit to Kew revealed that one crucial file from the period remains closed for another ten years. Personally, as a teenager, I sometimes accompanied my father to Shaikh Shakhbut’s majlis which then became Shaikh Zayed’s. Shaikh Shakhbut’s Abu Dhabi was great fun for a teenage boy but Shaikh Zayed’s has been better for its people. The Catholic priest, incidentally, was Father Barnabas who was unkindly nicknamed Father Barabbas by his flock.

  2. Christopher Davidson

    Thank you Ambassador Miles, for this very thought-provoking essay. It was good to see Sheikh Shakhbut’s Vatican honours getting a mention (especially as the Shakhbut era has been sadly consigned to the memory hole…). It made me think of how his nephew ‘MBZ’ continues to see support for Christianity as very important to the UAE’s reputation for tolerance, even bringing up this issue with a visiting US diplomat in 2007: “MbZ went on at length to explain the UAE’s commitment to religious tolerance, citing the continuing support by the Al Nahyan family for the work of American (Christian) medical missionaries in Al Ain since the late 1950s and the discovery of archaeological ruins of an historic church on a UAE island — in a Muslim country”.

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