“50 Years | 50 Faces” Highlights Over Five Decades of UAE-US Friendship

January 23, 2024

Expansive Digital Storytelling Program Produced by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC Features Astronauts, Artists, Teachers, Doctors, Presidents and More

Washington, DC (January 23, 2024) – “50 Years | 50 Faces,” a two-year-long digital storytelling campaign produced by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC, published its final story this week. What began as a project honoring the UAE’s 50th anniversary, resulted in a grand mosaic of personal stories describing the UAE-US relationship told by Emiratis and Americans across five decades.

“The series started with my story, as a young undergrad student finding his way at Georgetown University. We knew there would be many incredible storylines, but what we discovered, surprised and delighted us,” said UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba. “We spoke with Emiratis and Americans, across decades, and from all walks of life – artists and athletes, educators and entertainers, poets and even presidents.”

Altogether, the collection reflects the breadth and depth of the UAE’s rich history and relations with the US and the power of people-to-people connection. The UAE and US share an outlook for a more prosperous, peaceful and inclusive world, and this vision is reflected in the diverse stories told by participants.

  • The stories of NASA scientist Dr. Farouk El-Baz, Emirati researcher Dr. Noora Alsaeed, Emirates Mars Mission director Omran Sharaf, and Emirati astronaut candidates Noora AlMatrooshi and Mohammad AlMulla together showcased the evolution of the UAE’s space program and its close cooperation with the US from 1974 to 2024;
  • Former US secretary of state Dr. Condoleezza Rice and secretaries of defense William Cohen and General James Mattis reinforced the key diplomatic and strategic partnership between the US and the UAE over decades and administrations;
  • Former US ambassador to the UAE Marcelle Wahba and UAE Federal National Council member Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi both shared how Emiratis and Americans supported each other in the aftermath of 9/11;
  • Artistic directors Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo and Bill Bragin, visual artists Sarah Ahli and Maisoon Al Saleh, composer Ihab Darwish and slam poet Dorian Paul Rogers represented the wide array of UAE-US cultural collaborations and crossovers; and,  
  • American entertainer Steve Harvey and UFC President Dana White were inspired by the UAE’s culture of hospitality and willingness to take on the seemingly impossible.

“50 Years | 50 Faces” continues to live on UAEUSAUnited.com. For more information and to view the stories, visit here.