By Mohammed AlJunaibi (@maljunaibi)
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:
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 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
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)
- The Polarising Effect of the Internet, Cyberspace Discussions - March 1, 2012
- Laws of the Internet: What are SOPA and PIPA? - February 1, 2012
- The UAE: My 7 Wonders Of The World - December 2, 2011