Here We Start

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah, founder of Sail Publishing, a digital publishing house for online magazines and ebooks, and editor in chief of the Emirati Sail Magazine, an online magazine about community and culture written in English by Emirati columnists. Iman is a multi award winner in digital publishing, entrepreneurship, and literature. Iman has also completed the Leadership Strategies in Magazine Media Course in Yale University. Besides her work in publishing, she also lectures in Canadian University in Dubai.
Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Dear Sail Readers,

We launch this month our 21st issue of Sail eMagazine. This issue coincides with a very special event to all Emiratis and everyone who lives within the UAE, and this event is the 40th National Day for UAE. You cannot help but to feel extremely proud of what our country has reached to, and how the sense of belonging only increases more and more everyday.  Through out this issue you will find many of Sail’s columnists expressing their feelings and joy with the national day, amongst other articles that targets issues from our society.

We are joined this month with a new columnist: Haif Zamam through her column: Sense and Sustainability. Haif Zamzam is a professional in an Abu Dhabi-based clean technology venture capital fund and the Head of Capital Management of the Abu Dhabi Centre for Language and Speech Disorders.  Haif graduated from the American University of Sharjah with a degree in Finance and Economics.  Through her column, Haif hopes to tackle issues related to society’s sense, its sustainability and everything in between.

Below is the brief of what to expect in our 21st issue:

  • Art of Living 101: Hamda AlHashemi writes about the exhibition of 1001 Islamic inventions, and how we all ought to own it up.
  • Beyond Inspiration: Alanoud AlMadhi explains how the greatest fear of all is that of failure, and the one secret way to make that vanish.
  • Community Talk: Khalid AlAmeri discusses the importance of people in the development of a Nation.
  • Food For Thought: Shaima AlTamimi gives a personal tribute to the UAE for all what she has become and all that she has to offer.
  • Interview: Dubai Abulhoul interviews the Emirati artists Khawla AlMarri and asks her about what inspires her in her art and about her National Day projects
  • Just Another Undergrad: Fatma Bujsaim expresses that we need to understand that people can criticize as long as it is in the right way.
  • Sense and Sustainability: Haif Zamam analyses the Emiratis understanding of the current economic situations.
  • Society of Tomorrow: Mohamed Al Jneibi reflects on the union of the Seven Emirates and how they have become the real wonders for both Emiratis and residents living in the United Arab Emirates.
  • The First Years Last Forever: Ayesha AlJanahi researches the term “Separation Anxiety” in children and how to overcome it.
  • The Mind’s Eye: Moadh Bukhash examines the tendency of people to employ shortcuts in the small and big aspects of their lives and how we can counteract it through education and awareness.
  • Too Blunt For Words: Fatma AlKhaja explains how decorating an office for National Day does not define National Pride. It is how you manage your job, not take advantage and be loyal to it that defines it.
  • Words, Observations, and Ramblings: Reem Abdalla acknowledges the UAE’s 40th National Day and how being united is what brought the country its success.

21st Issue – December 2011
Here We Start – Art of Living 101Beyond InspirationCommunity TalkFood For Thought
Just Another UndergradSense and SustainabilitySociety of Tomorrow
The First Years Last Forever
The Mind’s EyeToo Blunt For WordsWords, Observations, and Ramblings

Enjoy the reads!

Warm Regards,
Iman Ben Chaibah
Editor in Chief


The 1001 Islamic Inventions Exhibition

Hamda Al Hashemi (@Hamda_alhashemi)

Column: Art of Living 101. Previously as: Living Through The Eyes of Art
Hamda AlHashemi is a 20 something year old interior design graduate, and an SZHP employee. She appreciates art, food, psychology and culture. For her, Arabic calligraphy is music for the eyes; beautiful and calming. She thrives to become an entrepreneur of her own furniture line and aims to get her Phd on the long run. Hamda’s articles revolve around how our psychological thoughts influence our actions, and how to use them to our advantage.

Latest posts by Hamda Al Hashemi (@Hamda_alhashemi) (see all)

By Hamda AlHashemi (@Hamda_AlHashemi)

Imagine watching a 2-year-old kid grabbing everything in sight, nibbling it, licking it, biting it and then throwing it! And we, as grown ups, wonder “what possesses this child? It is a silly, daily object yet kids find it very intriguing and amusing.”  Human beings are always amused by new things they have never experienced and that enthusiasm is what drives us to be innovative and creative. Because of that, innovation, science, culture and technology have thrived throughout the years. But are we following the same pace or have we slowed down?

Andre Gide once said, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” How hard are we trying to create breakthroughs and invent unimaginable things? Are new inventions as important as those of light, electricity, or telecom? Or are we content with what we have that it is not as important to seek the potential of the things around us.

In the year of 2010, there was an exhibition in London that promoted awareness about inventions made in the Muslim civilization. The 1001 Inventions exhibition uncovered 1000 years of science and technology and innovation by different men and women from the Muslim world. Children and adults were all mesmerized by what they experienced there. More than 800,000 visitors were drawn to discover a world driven by passion and loyalty, people who discovered and created incredible things with primitive resources.

Ibn Sina, Al Biruni, Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Taimiya, Abbas Bin Firnas, and hundreds of other scientists and inventors have mastered the fields of arts, astronomy, chemistry, geography, medicine, economy, mathematics, biology, psychology, political science, and much more. They spent their entire lives seeking knowledge, reading and experimenting. Shariff Abdullah Al Idrisi Al Hashimi of Sicily drew the first map in the world. Muslim surgeons such as Al Tabari, Al Biruni, and others developed most of the surgical tools that are still used till this day.

No matter how much I talk about their accomplishments and astonishing efforts, I will not give them the recognition they deserve. Ira Erwin said that the greatest discoveries have come from people who have looked at a standard situation and seen it differently. We look at something and think to ourselves: “this can be enhanced.” But how many times do we think of discovering something that we have never seen? And what do we actually do about it? To us, what stands in our way is our continuous belief that the risks are too high and people will call us crazy.

In 1877, how many people knew that they could have light without lighting a match? One man, and that man was Thomas Edison. I am sure that many people called him crazy for even thinking about it. People were satisfied with sitting at home and lighting a candle but that was not good enough for Edison. The idea of “illumination” fascinated him and so he tackled it with everything he had. People frequently remind us of how we cannot do this or that. How long will we let them blind us from reaching our true potential?

The way the exhibition communicated the information presented was intelligent. The interior space itself spoke so much. They used design elements for each invention and integrated the information within the design itself to interest the visitors in knowing more about it. They also used 3D animation to make some of the Muslim inventors talk about their accomplishments; and that is artistic creativity in itself. Not only will visitors learn about the inventors, but they will also feel a connection with them; how often do we get to meet famous dead people?

Words that every discouraged person should repeat to himself\herself are these: “Mistakes are the portals of discovery”. Edison failed more than 1000 times before coming up with a successful prototype. You never waste time if you spend it seeking the truth. The Muslim civilization was one of the most significant of all civilizations and the most dominant and powerful; it had so many life altering accomplishments that were built on later. Are we going to let down our ancestors? Or are we going to build on their legacy? We owe it to them.

Links related to topic:

 21st Issue – December 2011
Here We Start
– Art of Living 101 – Beyond InspirationCommunity TalkFood For Thought
Just Another UndergradSense and SustainabilitySociety of Tomorrow
The First Years Last Forever
The Mind’s EyeToo Blunt For WordsWords, Observations, and Ramblings

Facing the Fear of Failure in Writing

AlAnoud AlMadhi (@aam_alanoud )

Column: Beyond Inspiration
Founder of @BetweenTheSips -a social media initiative that moderates social conversations. Alanoud’s passion is public speaking and designing infographics, reading and researching.
Through “Beyond Inspiration”, Alanoud aims to share personal experiences, struggles, and aha moments that can spark a flame within the reader to reach their full potential.

Latest posts by AlAnoud AlMadhi (@aam_alanoud ) (see all)

By Alanoud AlMadhi (@ALANOUD_auh)

An English professor at our university invited us to a book-signing event for an Arab author who wrote a number of well-written English short stories and novels. Preceding the book-signage, an interview with the author took place.

The author told us her story from the very beginning. How she went to study in the UK, started writing, and later published her first book; which was a collection of short stories.

She expressed how challenging her life was abroad and how that inspired her to write even more. I was sitting there amongst the audience, staring at her as she spoke with her comforting smile, and I said to myself “Wow. This is not as hard as I thought. I CAN be a novelist.”

In my first couple of years at university, I had a true passion for writing. It grew after every little piece I wrote. Whether it was an assignment, a test essay, or just my personal anecdote.

Once upon a time, I imagined myself becoming the next JK Rowling; writing an epic novel that would later be read by a Hollywood director who decides to create a movie out of it.

Yes, this is how rosy the picture was in my head. But there was one small problem; I was terrified. I knew there would be huge obstacles that would stop me from becoming the novelist I wish to be.

When I heard this author speaking so calmly about her hurdles, the obstacles in my head shrank. However, the fear was still spread.

When the interview was over, I bought a copy of her book and approached her to sign it for me.  As she opened my copy to sign, I expressed my admiration to her writings and told her of my wish to become a novelist as well as my great fear of failing to reach that.

“If you failed, you will succeed in something else”, she said serenely. Very disappointed by her answer, I decided she did not hear me well so I went back behind the book-signing queue hoping I will get a more satisfying response.

I expected a talk about how we should arm ourselves against failure, be ready to face it with all our might, or do whatever it takes to break the wall of fear we are building before it.

I did not know what the exact reply should have been, but I was convinced the one she gave was not the right one.

The queue got shorter and it was finally my turn again. She reached out her hand to take the book but I asked her “What if I failed in writing my novel?”

She had an unruffled reaction to the word I believed would have a devastating effect. Then she repeated with a giggle, “If you did not do well in this, you will be a star in something else”. I thanked her then walked away; dissatisfied with the repeated, unwise advice I believed she had given me.

I saw failure as a huge monster and a bitter enemy haunting me whenever I wished to write my first chapter; gnawing at my promising thoughts.

How could that author be so calm about such a scary subject? Failure was a big deal to me and her answer was mocking it.

I sought validity in what she said so I listened to several personal development coaches and read a few of their books; none of them pictured failure as I did. None listed the resources against which I need to fight this humongous beast nor did any develop steps to building a wall that was not made of bricks of fear.

I came to realize the problem was not with the way we face failure. It was the way we looked at it. The bigger, louder, and clearer failure was in our imagination, the thicker and higher the wall of fear we build; and that is what holds us back.

Illustration by Dubai Abulhoul @DubaiAbulhoul

The novelist was right after all; we need to smile in the face of failure.

If we did not reach the target we set for ourselves, then there is always another one to set. The journey we took to reach the first was a learning experience from which we became stronger, wiser, and more willing. From our failure we have built a better us. We do not taste the victory of a rise unless we suffer the pain of a fall.

If we allow ourselves to see failure as big and fat as I did, then our fear will grow bigger and stop us from even starting our trip.

That author had taught me a lesson I shall never forget. I admire her personality and attitude as well as her writings from which I get inspiration.

Did I write my novel yet? No. But I have completed the first couple of chapters. It does not matter if I became the next JK Rowling or not. I am too busy enjoying my journey to think of whether I would fail in it.


21st Issue – December 2011
Here We Start
Art of Living 101 – Beyond Inspiration – Community TalkFood For Thought
Just Another UndergradSense and SustainabilitySociety of Tomorrow
The First Years Last Forever
The Mind’s EyeToo Blunt For WordsWords, Observations, and Ramblings


The UAE’s Greatest Asset is its People

Khaled Al Ameri (@KhalidAlAmeri)

Khaled Al Ameri (@KhalidAlAmeri)

Emirati. Columnist. MBA @StanfordBiz. On a journey to make the world more beautiful. Khalid aspires to generate healthy discussions, spark positive change surrounding social issues that affect our everyday lives, and more importantly how we can improve and develop as a society to a better tomorrow.
Khaled Al Ameri (@KhalidAlAmeri)

Latest posts by Khaled Al Ameri (@KhalidAlAmeri) (see all)

By Khalid AlAmeri (@KhalidAlAmeri)

Every country’s National Day is a moment of intense celebration, immense pride, and self-reflection where many of the country’s greatest achievements are brought front and center for all to see and cherish.

There is however one critical factor that makes this day truly special and stands out above the rest, the people.  The men and women who have played a role, big or small, in creating what is today the great country we all know as the United Arab Emirates.

During my visit to Art Abu Dhabi, I saw an interesting piece of art that consisted of a crude oil filled glass table with a mechanic pulse in the middle.  This piece of art was used to symbolize how oil is the lifeline of the UAE economy and according to the artist, made especially for the show.

While oil has played and continues to play a major role in the development of the UAE, in the end it is what the people do with this critical resource that determines the success of a country and the prosperity of its people. I am not going to list countries but there are several, with just as much resources, who are yet to see the growth and development the UAE has experienced.

So who does it all start with?

First and foremost, it is our leaders.  The UAE has been truly blessed with a leadership that puts the development of its people before anything else.

The late and loved Sheikh Zayed was quoted as saying  “The real asset of any advanced nation is its people, especially the educated ones, and the prosperity and success of the people are measured by the standard of their education” and this is something he lived through his actions which until today, and for generations to come, we are and will be truly grateful.

More importantly, Sheikh Zayed put great effort in instilling his qualities into the leaders of today which is shown through their deep wisdom, humility, and sense of responsibility towards all who have made the UAE their home.

By ensuring that the people of the UAE can live lives of dignity and have the opportunity to play a role in the development of their nation, through access to employment, a high level education, and world class healthcare, you guarantee a people that are proud and motivated.  The perfect ingredient to building success.


Illustration by Dubai Abulhoul @DubaiAbulhoul

Secondly, The Emiratis, from the pearl divers to the oilrig engineers, from the traders to the investment analysts, from the Bedouins to the Airline Pilots, all have played a role in shaping the UAE and building a sense of identity of what it is to be an Emirati.

When you look at how our forefathers overcame the many obstacles to support the development of our nation, the generation of today cannot help but feel a sense of responsibility to build on their legacy.

Not a day goes by where I do not open the headlines to see another Emirati, brother or sister, starting a new community initiative, entering a new sector previously unheard of in the UAE, or being recognized for their achievements to the government or private sector.

It is truly remarkable where we have come as a people in 40 years and I can say with all the confidence in the world that nothing is beyond us.  We have proven in the past that against all odds we will achieve and that has not changed one bit.  In the face of an economic crisis and political uncertainty in the region, we as a people are part of our leaderships’ vision and once again, we will achieve.

And finally, we cannot forget the international residents from around the world that now call the UAE their home; the ones who have given up all they knew and loved to come and play a role in the ever-growing story that is the United Arab Emirates.  The truly amazing part is that many international residents that have been here for over forty years and have shown a dedication and willingness to support, develop, and give back to the point that today the UAE is all they know.

International residents are part of what makes the UAE truly special. The fact that so many different nationalities can come together, in harmony, and create milestone after milestone is truly a thing of beauty and one that I am sure will continue for many years to come.

When the goals and ambitions of a country’s leadership and its people are in perfect balance, prosperity awaits at the doorstep.  The UAE has found a way of creating an environment where everyone can move together, pumping life into the country, making it stronger, kind of like a heartbeat.  So next year at Art Abu Dhabi, I think a portrait titled “People of the UAE”, with a pulse in the middle, would be a lot more fitting.


21st Issue – December 2011
Here We Start
Art of Living 101Beyond Inspiration – Community Talk – Food For Thought
Just Another UndergradSense and SustainabilitySociety of Tomorrow
The First Years Last Forever
The Mind’s EyeToo Blunt For WordsWords, Observations, and Ramblings


A Letter to My Dear Country The UAE

Shaima Al Tamimi (@iamshaima)

Shaima Al Tamimi (@iamshaima)

Shaima, a 20 something year old who loves to immerse herself in all things fresh and interesting. She loves to travel, observe people and experience new cultures. Her quarterly column “Food for Thought” discusses important social topics from thought provoking perspectives. Shaima is also a food blogger
Shaima Al Tamimi (@iamshaima)

By Shaima AlTamimi (@iamshaima)


Illustration by Dubai Abulhoul @DubaiAbulhoul

Dear UAE,

Where do I begin with you? Happy 40th birthday is a start! Did anyone tell you how much of a success story you are?

Words cannot describe my gratitude for all you have offered me. You gave me memories, a roof over my head and for my loving family, an education and a lifetime of friends and experiences.

I am not Emirati by paper, but I am one at heart. 26 years of living in what I call home, it is tough to not think of yourself as a UAE national. Needless to say, it does not matter, for my love and dedication to contribute and give back to you, my beloved UAE, grows stronger by the day. People talk of going through identity loss due to the influx of westerners and globalisation, yet, I know where I belong. I found my identity through growing up with you and developed it further as I matured and understood the importance of finding one’s self. I chose you.

It saddens me when I see some of our youth hastily spending their bountiful God sent resources on materialistic things, or throwing their careers away for that comfortable fat paycheck at the end of the month. Do they not know that through their strength, you will grow even stronger? Despite that, you have been generous and you continue to give to your people.

Worry not, for there are Emiratis who have your back 1000%. Emiratis who want to promote you to the world and teach people your lessons and tell your stories. With the guidance of our rulers and their clear-cut vision to stir you into the world-class country you are already becoming. Here is just a fraction of the people who are dedicating their lives and career paths for your success in the years and generations to come.

You have Mohammed Saeed Hareb who created the cartoon series “Freej” that most Arabs in the region love. It is a tale of four old adventurous ladies deep rooted in their love for you.

How about, Iman Ben Chaibah, a young lady and a good friend of mine, who is passionate about instilling the habit of reading and writing to our youth through this magazine. Almost 2 years into Sail and she has managed to achieve a line up of fantastic writers who have so much to tell and give back to the community.

Have you heard of Ali Al Saloom? He is one of the most patriotic men I have ever known and has dedicated his life to bridge cultural gaps and spread awareness of you to foreigners, tourists and even UAE nationals.

Meet Khalid Al Ameri, a brother that wants to inspire the entrepreneurs of tomorrow who will take you to bigger heights.

If you think it is only the Emiratis who have pledged their allegiance to you, then think again. Around 80% of the people you have welcomed with arms wide open are hard working foreigners; many of them consider you their permanent home. We are here for you, and we are here to stay.

Shaima Al Tamimi

 21st Issue – December 2011
Here We Start
Art of Living 101Beyond InspirationCommunity Talk – Food For Thought
Just Another UndergradSense and SustainabilitySociety of Tomorrow
The First Years Last Forever
The Mind’s EyeToo Blunt For WordsWords, Observations, and Ramblings


Interview with Khawla AlMarri

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah, founder of Sail Publishing, a digital publishing house for online magazines and ebooks, and editor in chief of the Emirati Sail Magazine, an online magazine about community and culture written in English by Emirati columnists. Iman is a multi award winner in digital publishing, entrepreneurship, and literature. Iman has also completed the Leadership Strategies in Magazine Media Course in Yale University. Besides her work in publishing, she also lectures in Canadian University in Dubai.
Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Interviewed by Dubai Abulhoul (@DubaiAbulhoul)

  • Can you tell the readers more about yourself and who you are as an artist?

I started two years ago as a professional artist and I took it as a career. I knew that there were not a lot of Emiratis who have taken art as a career because it is mostly taken as a hobby.  I started when I found a painting that I have done when I was seven. Since I was that young I painted but I stopped because I have studied Media and Communications.  After that, I took my masters in Marketing; so you see how it is not related to art. That is when I thought that it is about time someone took art seriously and that is how I started. I am actually trying to do something different with my artwork; mostly about a memory that I might have, something from the 80s.


Darb AlZalag by Khawla AlMarri in the 80s exhibition

  • Do you remember your first attempt at being creative?

My first major attempt was the ‘Dubai Series’. The paintings I did for this series were the first to be officially published. So after the publicity, I said ‘Ok fine, this is something that I would take seriously.’ I am now a full time artist but I am also doing my masters. I am hoping for a PhD in Art History.


Coffee by Khawla AlMarri

  • What inspires or motivates you to create art?

That is a question that I have been asked so many times but it is actually random things that inspire me. It could be a movie scene, a quote, a memory; it could be anything that I encounter in my everyday life. There is no one source I refer back to. You can get inspired from the smallest of objects.

  • Do you believe as an artist that art does make a difference?

I think so because I remember Banksy, who is a graffiti artist, he created something on the wall that separates Palestine and Israel. His idea was to go all the way to Palestine and create graffiti on the wall. He actually created something that the two people from two cultures would consider looking at to fix important issues.

  • How would you describe the art scene here in Dubai?

I think it is still growing. I remember at Art Abu Dhabi, I asked a question to one of the art professors and I said: ‘Do you think after working with local artists, that we have a strong base that we could create a documentary out of?’ And he was like ‘Yes.’ But after the yes, I wanted to know on what bases are we weak and strong. The local art scene in Dubai is growing gradually.

  • Have or are you a part of an art organization that has benefited you as a growing artist?

No, I am of thinking of joining a gallery, but to be able to join a gallery means to be committed to this one gallery. However, I am going to have my own solo gallery in January with the Ara Gallery.

  • Tell us more about your National Day projects. Where are they displayed, organized by who, and the message behind them.

I wanted to create a contribution and I noticed that we do not have street art because it is mainly illegal. When I created this, I actually took permission. I wanted to create something that was not on a canvas, an element that represents a characteristic about us. The first element was a cement block and it meant our strength.

The second one is a vintage car from 1967. I actually asked permission from the owner to take one side of the car to create something from it for National Day. The car resembles the past and the present.


Khawla AlMarri's artwork on a classic car

I also took permission to use a house, which in this case represents belonging. I then took a satellite and that resembles communication. Moreover, I took a streetlight, which resembles energy. Also, I took the old Emirati game ‘The Keiram” and used it to represent communication. So they are actually seven elements standing for the Emirates.

There is a wheel barrel located in front of the Ara Gallery, which I took permission to display, and it was there till the end of November; it stands for growth.


Khawla AlMarri's art on wheel barrel located in front of the Ara Gallery


 21st Issue – December 2011
Here We Start
Art of Living 101Beyond InspirationCommunity TalkFood For Thought
Interview – Just Another UndergradSense and SustainabilitySociety of Tomorrow
The First Years Last Forever
The Mind’s EyeToo Blunt For WordsWords, Observations, and Ramblings


Healthy Criticism

Fatma Bujsaim (@FatmaBujsaim)

Senior Editor. Ex- Column: Just Another Undergrad

After graduating with a Bachelor degree in International Studies and a minor in converged media, Fatma still finds herself hungry for knowledge, which led to her enrolling in a postgraduate program. Her passion for both reading and writing has made her extend her stay in Sail eMagazine so that she can learn & develop her skills. When not buried in her books and novels, Fatma is found on tennis courts or in a classroom learning a new language.
She wrote her previous column: “Just another undergrad” hoping she can give what she didn’t have when she was a freshman: comfort and guidance, and also bring back memories to all those graduates out there. She wonders if things are going to be the same after graduation.

Latest posts by Fatma Bujsaim (@FatmaBujsaim) (see all)

By Fatma Bujsaim (@FatmaBujsaim)

Growing up, we have been taught that it is rude to criticize people. That it is not polite and that we should treat people nicely. A saying that is constantly repeated in most cultures and in different languages, “treat people as you wish to be treated.”

This makes a lot of sense to a lot of people. What goes around comes around and respect is one of the most important elements in maintaining social relationships and connections.

Some might argue that not criticizing or not being expected to criticize might be a way of oppressing the freedom of expression; this used to be what I thought at first. Not being very critical and questioning slows down progress and development. All of these points are true, but where is the line drawn in criticism?

As humans, we tend to analyze and want to criticize if we see something that we do not agree with. A lot of people might not like that, especially in social or political issues; they feel that their lines are being crossed. Sometimes we even want to criticize our superiors in our workplace or professors in university but it would be considered disrespectful, so many of us refrain from doing that.

John Sexton, President of New York University, has been teaching his students a very interesting concept: Healthy Disrespect of Authority.

How can disrespect of authority be healthy? How can we disrespect it, in the first place, and not get into trouble?


Illustration by Mariam ARMS @MariamARMS

Even though criticizing and disrespecting are two different words, but they are very much alike in terms of the outcomes of these actions; they upset people.

Criticizing and disrespecting people, or an authority, can be achieved in the friendliest ways starting with taking out the negative tone and the judgment.

Dr. Abdelkhaleq Abdulla, is a professor of Political sciences in the United Arab Emirates University and he has been analyzing and criticizing political issues in the region.

Some might say that his analysis and criticism is disrespectful of authority but it is in fact a healthy one. His language is polite and professional, he knows what he is saying, and he does not only state the issues but actually proposes solutions for them.

This is also called constructive criticism, criticizing for the sake of improving the content of work or a person’s behavior. The key to this skill is not to attack a person and to use the appropriate language. Ben Yoskovitz, a blogger, blogged that the best way to provide constructive criticism is by planning, building the person up, providing clear criticism, then building the person up again.

So why do not we criticize in a friendly- none harmful-way? As Frank A. Clark once said, “criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.”


21st Issue – December 2011
Here We Start
Art of Living 101Beyond InspirationCommunity TalkFood For Thought
– Just Another Undergrad – Sense and SustainabilitySociety of Tomorrow
The First Years Last Forever
The Mind’s EyeToo Blunt For WordsWords, Observations, and Ramblings


Do Emiratis Realize How Bad the International Economy is?

Haif Zamzam (@haifnothaifa)

Haif Zamzam (@haifnothaifa)

Column: Joie de Vivre, Ex-Column: Sense and Sustainability
Haif Zamzam is a bon viveur who just can’t get enough of life. Her inflexibility for the norm coupled with her constant hunt for a challenge pushed her to the private sector where she is a professional in a top-tier consulting firm. Haif has an MBA from INSEAD and a Bachelors degree from the AUS. Through her column, Joie de Vivre, French for “Joy of Living,” Haif hopes to show how living with your head in the clouds is highly underrated.
Haif Zamzam (@haifnothaifa)

Latest posts by Haif Zamzam (@haifnothaifa) (see all)

By Haif Zamzam (@haifnothaifa)

Illustration by Mariam ARMS @MariamARMS

On the Thursday that Gaddhafi was killed, I left the office late but just in time to meet my friends for dinner.  We spoke about various topics including how successful that evening’s trunk show was, to reminiscing on our pasts.  The one topic that struck a chord with me was how the media somewhat molds our reality.  I thought about how powerful the media was and related it to the global economic situation that we are faced with today.

To me, it is very unclear whether the average Emirati is starting to see how messed up the economy really is.   Although there are some really promising signs that people are starting to wake up and notice the alerts, there are other things that make me think we still have our heads very deep in the sands. There is no doubt that the UAE has been blessed with a comfortable lifestyle for nationals and non-nationals.  However, I am afraid we are taking it for granted and “making it rain” so that we can keep up with the Joneses.

Just a few note-worthy observations:

Fashion-obsessed society – the UAE is a nest bed for addicts who need their constant luxury fix (which is probably why the luxury-focused trunk shows probably do so well here).  We are able to maintain a very high-level of couture to feed our addicted souls, while the rest of the world is in turmoil and somewhat coming to their senses that 2008 was a drizzle compared to the storm that some experts are forecasting will shake us up in 2012.  Maybe we (including myself) need to slow down our spending on luxury items and utilize what is already in our closets?

Valet – I remember the days that valet was a convenience rather than another indicator of how much money we are willing to throw out.  Give me a second to pick on The Dubai Mall. AED 50 – AED 100 to valet park your car?  Even after you cough up that money, you are going to be waiting for what seems like hours to get your car.  How is that convenient?

Weddings – need I elaborate?  In case I do, I would just like to ask why anyone would want to celebrate a very personal occasion with nearly 1,000 people of which they know 10% of; and with hotels charging approximately 180 AED per person, we are at 180,000 AED for the ballroom and food alone without all the other costs.

Then again, there are some bright spots.

  • More and more people are budgeting their hard earned cash so that they are able to sustain a certain standard of living
  • People are looking for possible fundraising options when starting their own business (vs. solely taking it out of their own pockets)
  • People are concerned with the Eurozone crisis and are beginning to ask the right questions about what to do with their capital

The logical question is; why do people think the economy is fine or way better than it really is?

The answer is simple; the dolled up cartoon people on the mainstream news who keep repeating (with heightened enthusiasm and a flashy smile) that everything is ok when it comes to the economy.

If you think the economy is in trouble right now, you are being a realistic, mature adult who has drilled into the story.  What now?  My advice is simple: cut the fat in terms of your spending (shop less, park your own car and budget your weddings for starters) and try to save your money.


21st Issue – December 2011
Here We Start
Art of Living 101Beyond InspirationCommunity TalkFood For Thought
Just Another Undergrad – Sense and Sustainability – Society of Tomorrow
The First Years Last Forever
The Mind’s EyeToo Blunt For WordsWords, Observations, and Ramblings


The UAE: My 7 Wonders Of The World

Mohamed Al Jneibi (@maljunaibi)

Mohamed, an IT Professional with a background in web development, database administration, technical support, and project management. His work includes enhancing corporate systems and designs, and further enhancing current business strategies and processes.
Mohamed enjoys reading literature and political commentary, with a love for Sci-Fi reading and writing. He’s also a big Formula 1 fan, and also heads the Mercedes GP UAE Fan Club based in Abu Dhabi.

Latest posts by Mohamed Al Jneibi (@maljunaibi) (see all)

By Mohammed AlJunaibi (@maljunaibi)

Illustration by Mariam ARMS @MariamARMS

Recently, I came across some friends who were sitting and discussing the recent Abu Dhabi bid for the new “Seven Wonders of the World. ” In the last few weeks of the competition, the media constantly covered the Bu Tinah island bid and people were already talking about the possibility of the natural reserve being on the list of the world’s seven new wonders. After making it to the final 14, Bu Tinah in the end did not make it to the final seven selected.

My friends were all disappointed at the fact that Bu Tinah did not make it. The idea of Bu Tinah being part of the new Seven Wonders of the World, during the 40th anniversary of the UAE, was something that meant a great deal to them. It was a genuine and heartfelt sadness, and I myself did feel a bit down too. Sure, we made it to the last round, but being a winner, that would have been a great feeling.

It was after all this that I had realised something, that even though Bu Tinah did not quite make it to the final seven of the new wonders of the world, the UAE still had another seven wonders of its own. They were the seven emirates themselves.

To every Emirati and expat, who had been able to witness this union, no one can ever deny the strength and unity that the seven emirates exemplified to the rest of the region. The past and present rulers of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Um Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, have and continue to remain inseparable and hand in hand towards the continued march of the UAE into the new century.

The number seven is synonymous to the number of wonders of the world. All sharing attributes of being magnificent and able to survive the test of time. It is also the number of seas of which sailors and explorers entered into the unknown. United by seven, the UAE has been able to pass through and continues to remain strong in some of our most pressing challenges to date.

Yet, in the midst of all this, Emiratis continue to live their lives with the relevant prosperities that are abounding for its people. The wise leadership and continued transitioning towards a new era of increased citizenry and participation had never been so apparent.

Emiratis are now not only enjoying the fruits of wisdom from their forefathers, but also planting the seeds to its continued success. The UAE has doneso  much for the first 40 years of its existence within the international community.

The UAE has fostered for peaceful co-existence and pledged to help in various humanitarian and peaceful initiatives around the world. The UAE has given much to the developing world in terms of funding and other activities where the under privileged are empowered towards development of their own infrastructure and society (through UNESCO, UNDP and other affiliations with both international charities and NGOs).

As Emiratis, we are able to see (as we continually have seen) the vision and master plan left for us by our chief architect (and father) Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his partners, the founding fathers of the UAE:
Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum,
Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed Al Qasimi,
Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi,
Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad Al Sharqi,
Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Mualla,
Sheikh Saqer bin Mohamed Al Qasimi. May they all rest in peace.

These names should and will never be forgotten. It is important today as we are united as one nation, with an emblem that says:
Allah (God)
The Country
The President

My Father’s generation (someone once told me) was probably the luckiest generation of Emiratis. Since to them, they have actually seen the old UAE. People like my father remember the fishermen and boats near the Bateen area of Abu Dhabi. Now, they see skyscrapers and at times pause and look in astonishment at where we have been and where we are now.

Forty years have now come and gone, but we hold the pen that now writes the coming chapters of the UAE. As we remember and reflect on the wonders we call the United Arab Emirates, it is equally important to remind ourselves that this is only the beginning of a far greater saga in store with God’s willing (Inshallah).


21st Issue – December 2011
Here We Start
Art of Living 101Beyond InspirationCommunity TalkFood For Thought
Just Another UndergradSense and Sustainability – Society of Tomorrow
The First Years Last Forever
The Mind’s EyeToo Blunt For WordsWords, Observations, and Ramblings


Separation Anxiety in Children

Ayesha AlJanahi (@_AyeshaAlJanahi)

Ayesha AlJanahi (@_AyeshaAlJanahi)

Column: The First Years Last Forever
A loving mother of a son who has changed her life and put it into perspective. Ayesha is a senior social media specialist, a Global Leader for young children in the Arab region, and a writer in few Arabic publications. Her column is written in collaboration with the Arabian Child organization, and offers inspiration and an in-depth exploration of early childhood development.
Ayesha AlJanahi (@_AyeshaAlJanahi)

Latest posts by Ayesha AlJanahi (@_AyeshaAlJanahi) (see all)

By Ayesha AlJanahi (@_AyeshaAlJanahi)

Separation anxiety is “a child’s apprehension or fear associated with his or her separation from a parent or other significant person. ” It is normal in young children during their first six years of life, but sadly, it creates a cloud over the joy of early childhood, creating many tears from children and much confusion for parents and caregivers.

Transition is a natural part of growing up but children do not seem accepting of the safety removal from their personal life when parents convince them to have fun with unfamiliar people. They start to suffer a sense of worry, non-acceptance, loss and they cling tightly to their parents. The dramatic reaction of separation anxiety commonly appears at schools, nurseries or any family gathering.

Parents trying to figure out how to handle their children’s transition can make them respond in a variety of ways. Some parents will totally support their children by giving them encouragement and suitable praise. Others will fear it and wish it away so they will treat children with criticism, punishment and ridicule.

As children pass through the various stages of life, they go through various transitions, which is a natural part of growing up. If we give them enough support and love, they will view change as a positive experience, more so than a child who has been harshly punished and ridiculed. Try to embrace their anxiety as a positive indication of their love. If you think about it, it is actually a wonderful indicator, since it is proof that the attachment you have been working so hard to create between you and your little one is holding. Over time, your child will be more aware that if you separate from them, you will always return eventually. Meanwhile, until your child matures enough to learn and get over separation anxiety, try to use some techniques to ease the process.  Always remember that every child is unique and since you know your child best, you will be able to put together a good plan for your child and use gentle ideas to help them adjust to periods of separation.

Illustration by Mariam ARMS @MariamARMS

You can play some separation games with your child like hide-and-seek where you can play in the house or at the beach or at a family gathering. The game demonstrates that people still exist even if children cannot see them and it is more than fun when they come back.

Give your child some “Alone Time” in bed. Many parents think their babies can never be awake and alone so they must tend to their needs. While this may have come from old good parenting philosophy, you need to understand that your baby can enjoy alone time to learn that they can be their own best company. Some parents are not aware that children can wake up after a nap and are pleased to look around and play with a toy or daydream. However, this can really help children get rid of negative feelings of separation anxiety in many situations. They may be small things, but they do make a big difference.

While your child is distracted or asleep, do not sneak away. Many parents think it is easier than a tearful goodbye but that will diminish their trust in you. Disappearing when they are unaware will cause them confusion and worry that you may go away at any given moment in the future.

When you drop off your child at nursery or school, come up with a goodbye ritual that can make them more relieved. Invent a ritual like “I promise when I am back we can go and buy some chocolate.” While you want your child to accept that you will leave, do not drag out the goodbye too long. The longer you make the goodbye process, the more you fill your child with anxiety and confusion.

Express a positive attitude when you leave your child because they do not only observe your actions but they also absorb your feelings. Keep in mind that if you are confident and relaxed, they will get the message that they should feel the same as well.

Your child does not know much about the world and they do not understand the idea that when you leave them, you will come back. They do not know that others can meet their needs just as well as you do when you are not there. They feel so relaxed and safe when they are with you so it makes perfect sense that they will be completely anxious when you are away. The development of separation anxiety indicates that your child is developing intellectually. This stage, like many others, during childhood will pass and by time they will be able to realize that it is okay to stay away from you for some time. The basis of separation anxiety is love so it should be handled with respect and care.

Written by Ayesha Al Janahi and supported by Arabian Child organization

Visit for more information about early childhood education in the United Arab Emirates.


21st Issue – December 2011
Here We Start
Art of Living 101Beyond InspirationCommunity TalkFood For Thought
Just Another UndergradSense and SustainabilitySociety of Tomorrow
The First Years Last Forever – The Mind’s EyeToo Blunt For WordsWords, Observations, and Ramblings