By Shaima AlTamimi (@iamshaima)
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 101 – Beyond Inspiration – Community Talk – Food For Thought
Interview – Just Another Undergrad – Sense and Sustainability – Society of Tomorrow
The First Years Last Forever – The Mind’s Eye – Too Blunt For Words – Words, Observations, and Ramblings
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