Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. He was the founding father and the principal driving force behind the formation of the United Arab Emirates, becoming the Union's first Raʾīs, a post which he held for a period of 33 years, he is popularly referred to in the UAE as the Father of the Nation. Zayed was the youngest of four sons of Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, his father was the ruler of Abu Dhabi from 1922 until his death in 1926. Zayed was the youngest of his four brothers, his eldest brother, Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan, became ruler of Abu Dhabi after their uncle, Saqr bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His mother was Sheikha Salama bint Butti. She extracted a promise from her sons not to use violence against each other, a promise which they kept. Sheikh Zayed was named after his grandfather, Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, who ruled the emirate from 1855 to 1909. At the time of Sheikh Zayed's birth, the sheikhdom of Abu Dhabi was one of seven Trucial States along the lower coast of the Persian Gulf.

He showed interest in falconry. It is held that he was born at Qasr al-Hosn in Abu Dhabi, with some sources stating that he was born in Al Ain at Sultan Bin Zayed Fort on the edge of Al Ain Oasis, he is at least known to have moved from Abu Dhabi after the death of his father. As Zayed was growing up in Al-Ain, there were no modern schools anywhere along the coast, he only received a basic instruction in the principles of Islam, lived in the desert with Bedouin tribesmen, familiarising himself with the life of the people, their traditional skills and their ability to survive under the harsh climatic conditions. Zayed was appointed the governor of the Eastern Region of Abu Dhabi in 1946, was based in the Muwaiji fort in Al Ain. At this time, the area was prone to outbreaks of disease; when parties from Petroleum Development began exploring for oil in the area, Zayed assisted them. In 1952, a small Saudi Arabian force led by Turki bin Abdullah Al-Otaishan occupied the village of Hamasa in the Buraimi Oasis.

Zayed was prominent in his opposition to Saudi territorial claims and rejected a bribe of about £30 million to allow Aramco to explore for oil in the disputed territory. As part of this dispute and his brother Hazza attended the Buraimi arbitration tribunal in Geneva in September 1955 and gave evidence to tribunal members; when the tribunal was abandoned amid allegations of Saudi bribery, the British initiated the reoccupation of the Buraimi Oasis through a local military force, the Trucial Oman Levies. A period of stability followed during which Zayed helped to develop the region and took a particular interest in the restoration of the falaj system, a network of water channels which kept the plantations of the Buraimi Oasis irrigated and fertile; the discovery of oil in 1958, the start of oil exports in 1962, led to frustration among members of the ruling family about the lack of progress under Sheikh Shakhbut’s rule. On 6 August 1966, Shakhbut was deposed in a bloodless palace coup; the move to replace Shakhbut with Zayed had the unanimous backing of the Al Nahyan family.

The news was conveyed to Shakhbut by British Acting Resident Glen Balfour-Paul who added the support of the British to the consensus of the family. Shakhbut accepted the decision and, with the Trucial Oman Scouts providing safe transport, left for Bahrain, he subsequently lived in Iran before returning to live in Buraimi. In the late 1960s, Zayed hired Katsuhiko Takahashi, a Japanese architect, to design and plan the city. Between 8–11 January 1968, the UK's Foreign Office Minister Goronwy Roberts visited the Trucial States and announced to its shocked rulers that the United Kingdom would abrogate its treaties with them and intended to withdraw from the area. In a seminal meeting on 18 February 1968 at a desert highland on the border between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum of Dubai shook hands on the principle of founding a Federation and attempting to invite other trucial rulers to join in order that a viable nation be formed in the wake of the British withdrawal.

In 1971, after difficult negotiations with the other six rulers of the Trucial States, the United Arab Emirates was formed. Zayed was appointed to the presidency of the UAE in 1971 and was reappointed on four more occasions: 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991. In 1974, Zayed settled the outstanding border dispute with Saudi Arabia by the Treaty of Jeddah by which Saudi Arabia received the output of the Shaybah oilfield and access to the lower Persian Gulf in return for recognising the UAE. Sheikh Zayed was determined to unite the Emirates into federation, his calls for cooperation extended across the Persian Gulf to Iran. He advocated dialogue as the means to settle the row with Tehran over three strategic Persian Gulf islands which Iran seized from the UAE Emirate of Sharjah in 1971; the islands remain despite over three decades of UAE diplomatic initiatives. The attitude of Zayed towards his neighbors can best be seen in his position regarding the "Umm al Zamul" dispute, when he expressed a genuine wish that his brother Sheikh Shakhbut would accept "the Sultan's proposal for a neutral zone".

He said in that regard: "... it was ridiculous to squabble over a well so bitter that few bedouin could stomach its waters, or to split hairs over a tiny area of barren totally unfrequented desert. And if there happened to be oil in the area

Jackson Covered Bridge

The Jackson Covered Bridge known as the Rockport Covered Bridge is located in the'forgotten town' of Rockport, northwest of Bloomingdale, Parke County, Indiana, USA. It was built by J. J. Daniels in 1861, is the oldest remaining bridge built by him. Crossing Sugar Creek, on county road 83 at the intersection with county roads 25 and 232, it is a single span Double Burr Arch truss covered bridge structure built on a base of hewn stone. Prior Wright had built his second mill in the area of'Devil's Den' in 1848, after his mill located at The Narrows was washed away by a freshet on New Year's Day 1847. During this time, flat boats would be built and floated over the shallows of Sugar Creek during high waters for the trip to the markets in New Orleans; when the Wabash and Erie Canal came through more business originated from here. The mill, a general store, cooper shop, blacksmith shop, two sawmills, four dwelling houses would come to make up the town of Rockport. In addition, an iron smelter operated for a while using a poor grade of iron ore and the plentiful and high grade coke made from local coal.

By December 1860, the citizens of the area had decided to call on Dr. Hobbs to be their spokesman for a new bridge near Wright's Mill. Dr. Hobbs called upon the Parke County Commissioners to hold a special meeting, on December 28, they discuss the issue of "several citizens who had presented a petition for a bridge over Sugar Creek at Wright's Upper Mills." John Scott, "presented on behalf of various citizens a petition and subscriptions for a bridge at Star Mills," at the same meeting. Just four days on New Year's Day 1861, the commissioners held another special meeting and approved both bridges to be built with $8,000 from the county, "...provided the citizens would make up enough subscriptions to make up the balance on the cost of these two bridges." Within a week and a half, January 17, $3,307 and 300 signatures had been collected by the petition leaders Byers, Milligan and Elwood Hadley. James Johnson and Henry Wolf were appointed to select sites for the bridges, establish specifications and provide estimates for the county commissioners.

Back in 1859, the Parke County Commissioners had received a letter from J. J. Daniels, on the behalf of William D. Daniels, on the proposal of building bridges at Wright's Mill and Star Mills. Bids were opened at the March 1861 meeting. William D. Daniels was awarded the bid and on April 22, the contracts were signed, $1,000 advance was allowed. Brown and Company had finished the masonry work, subcontracted out to them, for the abutments by September 16, Mr. Daniels was given $6,000 to pay for the work; this was to be the only bridge in Parke County built by J. J. Daniels that would contain a cornerstone in the abutment; the cornerstone is located in the south upstream side of the bridge and reads, "Builder J. J. Daniels 1861". On November 9, 1861, the bridge was ready for its final inspection by the county commissioners and on November 11, Daniels was paid $1,500 for the Jackson bridge contract and an additional $2,500; the additional amount may have been for the Star Mills Bridge, completed in December.

It is the longest single span covered bridge in Indiana and the oldest bridge still standing built by J. J. Daniels. Built during the unstable political era of the American Civil War, J. J. Daniels wanted to make a clear political statement and named the bridge after Andrew Jackson to honor his statement to John Calhoun: "To the Union, it must be preserved." When the bridge was first built the portal was lettered: "The Federal Union: It must be preserved."It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. List of bridges documented by the Historic American Engineering Record in Indiana List of Registered Historic Places in Indiana Parke County Covered Bridges Parke County Covered Bridge Festival Official website Photo Gallery Historic American Engineering Record No. IN-48, "Jackson Covered Bridge, Spanning Sugar Creek, CR 775N, Bloomingdale vicinity, Parke County, IN", 8 photos, 1 color transparency, 5 measured drawings, 10 data pages, 1 photo caption page Parke County Covered Bridge Festival

Tommy Sylvestre

Tommy Sylvestre is a former Togo international football goalkeeper. Born in Kinshasa, Sylvestre moved to Lome and began playing club football for local side Étoile Filante de Lomé, he enjoyed success with Étoile Filante, helping the club reach the finals of the 1968 African Cup of Champions Clubs. In 1974, Sylvestre moved to Côte d'Ivoire to finish his career with Stade d'Abidjan and Stella Club d'Adjamé. Sylvestre made several appearances for the senior Togo national football team, he made a penalty save against Ghana that helped Togo reach its first 1972 African Cup of Nations finals, where he would be named the best goalkeeper in the tournament. In 2006, he was selected by CAF as one of the best 200 African football players of the last 50 years. TOGO-foot interview with Tommy Sylvestre