Here We Start – Issue #40

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)
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Artwork by Fatma AlHashemi (@F_Fotography)

Artwork by Fatma AlHashemi (@F_Fotography)

Dear Sail readers,

As we are publishing our 40th issue, many of you are preparing for Ramadan, be it spiritually, physically, or even in terms of reorganizing your home groceries to ensure everything is in place when needed. Also, let’s not forget the legendary Vimto wipeout from the market by some mysterious mass purchases that only happen in Ramdan, which mostly likely will repeat again this year. In spirit of all this, and on behalf of Sail team, we wish you a blessed holy month, filled with spiritual self-fulfillment, family reunions, and many delicious meals.

During the last month, we hosted a private writing workshop for our writers team. The workshop was given to the team by Ahmed Al Arshi, an Emirati scriptwriter and a novelist. AlArshi shared with us a lot of reminders of why writing is very important in our lives as humans, how essential is reading to writers, the main structures of writing, different writing styles, and many dos & don’t dos in writing. We were very grateful for the insights offered by AlArshi.

What I really enjoyed was observing the spark re-ignite in some of the members, getting reminded by the passion that drove them in the first time to start writing and getting published. I encourage all of you to try writing articles about topics that interest you, if you felt that you enjoyed the process and would like to join the team, send us your work, we’ll evaluate it to confirm if it fits with our magazine’s theme, and you never know, you might be our next new member!

Speaking of new members, please welcome to the team our newest addition: Alwid Lootah through her column: Lost in Reverie. Alwid is a 17-year-old writer in the making who always follows what her heart desires. She is an optimist that finds beauty amongst the little things and her dream is to publish a book that would make a difference in this world. Her column “Lost in Reverie” is mainly a reflection of her thoughts, experiences and daydreams.

And now, Issue #40 – July 2013 in brief:

Enjoy our reads, and don’t forget to check out our illustrations by our creative team: Anood AlMulla, Dana AlAttar, & Maryam Zainal.

To keep up with our monthly-published issues and to know about any of our coming events, make sure you register with us by clicking here.

Warm regards,
Iman Ben Chaibah
Editor in Chief

Documenting the Relationship of Khaleejis in London

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)
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Article in brief: The article sheds light on a recent educational initiative that the author took up on oral history and documenting the relationship of Khaleejis in London.

Documenting the Relationship of Khaleejis in London

One of my goals for year 2013 is to focus on taking up activities that would help me find balance between a career that is time demanding and a personal life that I am somewhat neglecting due to that. I love my job, however, I need to find excitement in other things and develop personally as well.

I caught a tweet from an Emirati friend of mine who was organizing a workshop in oral history at the Modern Museum of Arab Arts (Mathaf) in Doha. In honour of the diplomatic ties between Qatar and UK that is being celebrated in 2013 by both countries, the workshop sought to explore the relationship of Khaleejis in London. Perfect!

The topic was not only relevant to me as a frequent visitor to London, but was also a fascinating one because there are many of us who are there all year round. What was interesting to me was to explore the behavioral patterns of Khaleejis who feel more at ease to be themselves, out of the environments where they are being watched by people from their own society.

Whilst oral history may seem like a boring thing to delve into, I must admit; I thoroughly enjoyed the nostalgia that comes with interviewing the subjects and how they recollect memories of certain happenings at some point in their lives.

Our assignment for the workshop was to hand in a final piece of work, interviewing someone who would give their thought on the subject matter. I was lucky enough to have a friend who co-incidentally is half Qatari, half British, thereby minimizing the biasness that may arise from giving her opinion.

Meet Nadia Haroon, a bright Qatari woman who is determined to make a difference and inspire the youth. Nadia believes she has the right mindset to be what Qatar wants its youth to be and is equipped with the mentality from having best of both worlds in upbringing.  The 5 minutes video below is the result of our individual assignments for the workshop. Enjoy.

The Keys To Success

Alia Al Hazami (@AliaAlHazami)

Alia Al Hazami (@AliaAlHazami)

Column: Hidden Promises
Alia is an AUS student double majoring in International Studies and English literature. She is also the author of Alatash fictional novel. Her main goal is to make a change and empower the youth. Her column is meant to help the younger generations deal with tough situations. It was given that title as hidden promises is what us teenagers often believe; false promises.
Alia Al Hazami (@AliaAlHazami)
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Article in brief: The article believes everyone has a dream, and everyone strives to achieve. So the author presents ways that she believes are necessary to reach your dreams.

Illustration by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Illustration by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Waiting for something you desperately want seems to take forever at times, but once you get it, you most definitely reach a certain peak of joy. Sometimes, getting your dreams to become reality feels like a long shot, like when JK Rowling got her dream shattered when she got rejected by twelve publishers, but that didn’t break her, on the contrary, she stood up for the thirteenth time and got accepted by a publishing house. She showed us that life isn’t that effortless and you don’t always get what you want easily. The keys to success in my opinion are simple: hard work and focus.

If you don’t work hard enough to get something you yearn for, then how are you going to get it? Some people usually expect things to be handed to them on a silver platter, without making any move or taking action. They even have the audacity to get upset when things don’t work out the way they want it.

It’s quite vile to presume that others are going to get your work done for you, and after they successfully achieve the work that you desperately wanted you get all the credit for someone else’s’ efforts! People often forget that they must give all their efforts to gain a sense of accomplishment. It’s simple logic; you have to give in order to get. In my opinion, relying on people is an immediate cause of relentless failure.

Now, staying focused is a bit tricky. One of the easiest things is to lose focus and get consumed and distracted in some unnecessary activities that won’t benefit you in any matter. It might seem daunting to give one single thing your “all” but sometimes you’ve got to give things up to attain. The primary key in never losing focus is to remind yourself how amazing it’s going to feel to finally receive what you’ve been wanting, and waiting for, for as long as you can remember. Maintaining the focus that should never be lost helps you exude joy and happiness. Other than that, it plainly offers a better life for you.

Beside those two keys, there is one more thing that will help you go a long way: to have faith and believe in yourself. I personally have given all my focus and have worked hard on achieving something, and it’s on the verge of happening because even when I was about to give up, I reminded myself that everything can happen if I believe that I deserve it. And who knows? Maybe by the time this article gets published I might finally get it! My sincere advice to all of you with a dream is to never lose hope in what you do no matter what.

Even when no one out there is willing to support you, support your own self. Have faith in yourself and be the best version you could be of yourself. Hope and faith in one self is what makes the world move, it’s practically why we have great figures in the world; because they believed in themselves. Anything could happen if you believe, just let your strengths conquer your weaknesses.

The Beauty Hidden by Fear

Alwid Lootah (@AlwidLootah)

Column: Lost in Reverie
Alwid is a young lady who aims to become the change she wants to see in this world by spreading positivity and leading youth towards the road of unlimited possibilities. She recently founded her own website through which she aims to become the voice of youth and share unrecognized talents. Her column “Lost in reverie” is a place where she allows her thoughts and emotions to flow and a place where she can hopefully create a change.

Latest posts by Alwid Lootah (@AlwidLootah) (see all)

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Article in brief: The author shares with us how her snorkeling experience taught her to look at life from a different angle, and reveal the beauty fear hides.

Illustration by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Illustration by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Have you ever felt the ocean as it gently moved back and forth, as the world became a little quieter and the calmness of the ocean made you forget all your worries for a little bit? Have you ever experienced seeing a whole different perspective of life, a whole different universe?

As you adjust your mask and snorkel, and swim to another world, the only sound you hear is the sound of your own breath as oxygen rushes in and out of your lungs. You take calm steady movements as you drift through the water and your heartbeat begins to slow down a beat after another.

I would’ve never had this experience if my father didn’t push me to do it. Reason being is, all my life I was never the “daring” type; most things that are considered daring are terrify to me. When I think about my snorkeling experience and how beautiful it was -besides the fact that a shark could’ve rushed and grabbed me from the head- if I wasn’t pushed out of my comfort zone I would have never seen life from a different angle. I am not talking about the Sky Diving kind of courage; I am not even close to that amount of courage. I am talking about learning to take a chance and learning to try something new. It’s fear and courage that determines the fate of a new experience.

Courage: is that moment when you push yourself out of your comfort zone. It’s that time when you decide not to let fear stand between you and what could be a beautiful encounter. We often allow fear to push us backward instead of overcoming it with our determination. If you take a moment and think, you’ll realize that fear hides the beauty of this world, it narrows our vision to only see what our heart can take, to only see what is in our comfort zone rather than what is beyond it.

Yes we would rather be safe and stick with what we know than risk failing, but if we never tried we’ll never learn. If Benjamin Franklin didn’t think “outside the box” and let fear of failing stand in his way, electricity would have not been invented; can you imagine yourself without that invention? You could be the next Benjamin Franklin if you allow yourself to be courageous, if you don’t restrict yourself with what we call a comfort zone.

Get yourself out there and allow your true self to shine through. Ask yourself this question “When was the last time I did something for the first time?” if you can answer it straight away, you’re indeed a person who has courage as a trait. If not then you are capable of being that person as well.

Let’s start by eating that food we’ve convinced ourselves we didn’t like even before we tried it, let’s start one step at a time and teach ourselves to be different rather than fade between crowds of people. Let’s welcome new things with arms wide open to see how much beauty this world holds. Look deeply to what is around you, in a way you didn’t before. Change your perspective and before you know it, you’ll see more beauty than you’ve ever seen before.

Is Curiosity Good or Bad?

Budoor Al Yousuf (@BAlYousuf)

Budoor Al Yousuf (@BAlYousuf)

Budoor takes a unique look at the world around her. She applies a sense of the mystical to everyday happenstance and turns it on its head. The result is her column: “Mental Pondering”.
With a background in communications, her passion for writing is driven by the need to voice her thoughts. Budoor also hold an eMBA in innovation and Entrepreneurship, other than writing, her interests include reading and traveling.
Budoor Al Yousuf (@BAlYousuf)

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Article in brief: The article discusses curiosity and how it has always been a motivational factor to discovering the world we live in and understanding the people we live with, however where does curiosity originate from? And is it dangerous?

Illustration by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Illustration by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Scientists have long debated about the origins of curiosity. Many believe that curiosity is driven from within us like hunger and thirst, but other scientists believe that curiosity is pushed on us by external factors like understanding the environment around us.

Whatever the drive of curiosity is, it is a major part of human endeavor; it is the energy to explain and understand the universe, but it is also the source of very extreme risks and consequences.

Everyone agrees that curiosity is what made Newton, Einstein, Al-Khwarizmi and Bell find the hidden secrets of the universe and bring the human race the knowledge and advances it has today.

However, when thinking about curiosity, one of the questions that arise is danger and consequence. Didn’t curiosity make Adam and Eve fall from heaven? In the Greek myth, wasn’t curiosity over what is inside the box that made Pandora open it and get trapped in it?

It was always believed in the old days that curiosity was bad, Saint Augustine, in the fourth century, stated that he wasn’t in favor of curiosity and had named it “disease of curiosity”.

Alexander Pope warned of curiosity’s dangers by this: “A person who is too nice an observer of the business of the crowd, like one who is too curious in observing the labor of bees, will often be stung for his curiosity.”

Luckily, curiosity transformed in the Renaissance from a disease to a prerequisite for the modern age to kick in, as curiosity lead to scientific discoveries which lead to new knowledge and in its turn to human advances, people started believing in it.

It was only after the discoveries made out of curiosity that it was considered very important, because people realized without curiosity the human brain will rot, without curiosity there will be no reading, no listening, no trying, no observing, no learning and no innovating.

Curiosity is one of the phenomenal things humans do and it uses so many functions of their brain for one thing; for example it could use their attention, motivation, memory, learning, problem solving, and language all over one thing. Perhaps that’s why NASA decided to name the rover of mars “curiosity”.

Humans and animals alike are curious; if plants had it in them they would be as well. The line between good curiosity and bad curiosity can easily be blurred and the outcome might be dense. However, the original proverb about the cat has two parts, and it says, “curiosity killed the cat”, “but satisfaction brought it back”.



  • Curiosity: the desire to learn or know about anything; inquisitiveness.


Importance of Honesty

Mustafa Abbas (@MustafaAbbas)

Mustafa Abbas (@MustafaAbbas)

Mustafa is an award-winning film-maker whose short films have screened in local festivals such as Dubai International Film Festival and the Gulf Film Festival, as well as international film festivals including the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. Currently he is working on numerous projects both within and outside of UAE. Through his bi-monthly column “Notes of The Night”, he ponders upon different matters of our daily lives.
Mustafa Abbas (@MustafaAbbas)

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Article in brief: The article stresses on the importance of honesty, and how in most cases it might not come wholly, or it might but with a price.

Illustration by Anood Almulla  (@AnoodAlmulla)

Illustration by Anood Almulla (@AnoodAlmulla)

Honesty, real honesty, is actually a very misunderstood thing. Thomas Jefferson said, “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” Therefore, honesty is connected to wisdom, something treasured and invaluable.

I believe we live in an opinionated world. Leo Tolstoy once said, “We can only know that we know nothing, and that is the highest degree of human wisdom.” This in my opinion backs up Jefferson’s quote above, as well as my previous statement.

We live in a time where almost everyone we meet likes to say, “You know me; I’m honest”, when in reality honesty is not as common as people think it is. Not necessarily because people lie, but because of the reasons they are being honest. To be an honest person, one has to be a well-wisher, and want the best for people. An honest person can help you improve in your personal as well as your professional life. He or she gives you valuable feedback, and allows you to see any potential room for improvement, but also points out the things you did right. A person who does only one of the two does not earn the “honest” title.

One the one hand, if one points out all the faults, flaws, and negative stuff, even though their opinions may be right, he does not earn the honest title yet if they are not going to mention the positives. The reason is a key. Some do it because of lack of manners and some do it out of insecurity. After all “To belittle, you have to be little.” -Kahlil Gibran

On the other hand, a person who only compliments people and mentions the right that they did is not an honest person either. Even though in both these situations, both people might be pointing out facts [positive or negative], they are doing it for the wrong reasons.

To be truly honest with others, like most things, one needs to be honest with himself/herself and ask themselves why they are about to mention this comment/feedback/etc. It’s a thin line, and a delicate balance. This is why, I believe, the term “honesty” is misunderstood.

“Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Unfortunately, this gap of being honest only for one of the two (positive or negative) most likely can come from lack of awareness. I find it hard to imagine that awareness would have any meaning without self-awareness. Virginia Woolf said, “If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”

And if at times we must be what they call “brutally” honest, then it must be for the sake of honesty, and not the brutality.

Of course, what I mean in this piece about honesty is when it mainly comes to feedback or comments but regarding the bigger, more important things. “White lies” don’t make a person any less honest. Honesty goes beyond one sentence or one conversation.

I’d like to end my piece and quote someone who understood this truly and completely:

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

-Mother Teresa

Moose Out.

We’re All Human Beings After All

Omar Al Owais (@OMSAlowais)

Omar Al Owais (@OMSAlowais)

Omar is an International Relations Student at the American University of Sharjah, with a passion towards politics and a devotion towards the rhythmic arts of poetry and prose.
Omar Al Owais (@OMSAlowais)

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Article in brief: The article explains how not accepting foreign cultures and other religions is not part of our culture.

Illustration by Anood Almulla  (@AnoodAlmulla)

Illustration by Anood Almulla (@AnoodAlmulla)

I recently attended my school’s graduation ceremony. It was very heartwarming to experience the students with bright smiles and gleaming eyes as they were given their high school diplomas. This completed and thus highlighted their 14-years endeavor before venturing into the big world.

With it being an event of such high importance and significance, several programs were initiated and executed for the audience’s entertainment. One being an act performed by my classmates called “Terminal 3”.

The play basically highlighted a normal occurrence at the airport, or rather the country as a whole.

The play commenced with a football crazed Arab walking around what seems to be terminal three of Dubai Airport and bumps into an old Indian man. They attempted to converse, but to no avail. They share no mutual language. Nevertheless, sign language has proven to be a successful communication tool. Midway through their short conversation, a British businessman (he’s actually an Emirati, with a convincing accent if you ask me) joins in the conversation, using sign language of course. Their conversation revolves around their families, lives, so on and so forth and is concluded by well wishes.

Regardless of their major differences, they managed to converse happily amongst each other. They didn’t allow their differences to separate them. They’re all human beings after all.

We always rush in prejudging and making stereotypes without taking a moment “to walk a mile in their shoes”, if we have done so, all misconceptions and misunderstandings would be avoided

The point of the previously mentioned anecdote is to shed light on what made the UAE more successful than its counterparts. We stuck to our roots by welcoming foreigners in to our abode and taking from their culture and experiences what does not contradict with our own beliefs. I am not saying that this is the case nowadays, however, this is how it all began.

When speaking of tolerance, the Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him (PBUH)] can be described as the master of tolerance; this may be exhibited from the following examples:

  • Historians report that as a funeral of a Jew passed before Prophet Muhammad [PBUH], as a sign of respect he stood up. In doing this, he showed respect and shared the feeling of sorrow with the Jewish family and community. “Why did you stand up for a Jewish funeral?” he was asked. The Prophet replied: “Is it not a human soul?”
  • Upon learning of the sickness of his Jewish neighbor, Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] paid him a visit. During the visit the Prophet [PBUH] asked the young man to accept Islam. The young man looked at his father for permission. The father assented and the young man accepted Islam.

The UAE is a successful example of a tolerant country that maintained its heritage and set of beliefs. Where else would you find a niqabi and a church-goer happily chatting away? Where else would you find a farm owner and his South Asian farm worker sharing food from the same plate? Where else would you find two students from different sides of the globe working together on a group project? Where else would you find a leader walk freely amongst his people and treat them and his family as one?

Consequently, we must always remember that the more we learn, the more we must teach. The more we take in, the harder the effort we must make to preserve our identity. We must swiftly travel with the winds of time, with our feet firmly planted to the ground.

The Importance of Art in My Life

Dubai Abulhoul (@DubaiAbulhoul)

Dubai is an Emirati girl with a passion for all things art. Her number one passion was to find a place between Emarati artists and filmmakers , and her dream turned into reality in 2008 , when she was officially named as the Middle East’s Youngest Director at the age of 11.

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Article in brief: The author expresses the importance of art in one’s life.

Illustration by Anood Almulla (@AnoodAlmulla_)

Illustration by Anood Almulla (@AnoodAlmulla_)

What is art? Or shall I ask, what makes good art ‘good’? How do art professors worldwide decide whether a piece of art is ‘good’ or ‘horrible’ or ‘just fine’. If I know anything, it’s that art is self-expression at its best. I speak from experience when I say that art helped me release certain thoughts and ideas I never knew existed in my head. Art brought out parts of me I never dared exploring further. Art made me who I am, and most importantly, art taught me how to think.

For as long as I can remember, I was always sketching something on a piece of paper. Whether it’s on the notepads at hotel rooms, or napkins at restaurants, I always seemed to leave my mark everywhere I went. Whenever someone asks me what my favorite artwork is, I always say nature and Earth. If you take a look around, everything your eyes touch is art. We, ourselves, are works of art. The white tip of your fingernails, the details of your thumbprint, the lines on your knuckles; they’re all pieces of a greater, larger than life artwork. With all the things that happen in our individual lives, we seem to forget to take a moment and admire the art created by God himself. We let our fast lives pass us by without taking a moment to reflect.

I’ve always been the student who sits at the back of the class and fills her Math notebooks with drawings instead of formulas. Everyday after school I’d go back home and pick up a paintbrush, and just like that, I was in my own world. I was in a world where my inner, creative child ran and played freely. I was in a world where creativity was appreciated and I wasn’t so out of the box anymore. If I have been, in reality, ‘inside’ the box though, my creative spirit would cease to exist. There were no words needed, just beautiful strokes of different colors, and I would be free at last.

I’m at a point in life where people constantly ask me, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ or ‘Now that you wrote a book, is this the career choice you want to take for the rest of your life?’ or the ever so famous, ‘Don’t study Politics, it’s a dead end.’ I want to write, I want to publish more books, I want to pursue a career in the political world, but most importantly, I want to create. I want to go on different paths in my career, and I want to do that in the most creative ways possible. I want to take my next steps with art as my backbone. I don’t know where the road will take me next, and that is scary, but I find comfort in the fact that my brushes will always be in my backpack. Art will always be there for me, and I will always be there for art.

The Sense of Entitlement

Moadh Bukhash (@MoadhBukhash)

Moadh Bukhash (@MoadhBukhash)

A brand manager by day and a ‘wannabe’ philosopher by night, Moadh graduated from the American University in Dubai with a degree in Marketing. All about logical discourse and self improvement, his aim is to be a 21st century iconoclast. Though born and raised in Dubai, Moadh aims to develop and nurture global identities built around shared humanistic values. A writer of his own blog, which bears the column’s name, Moadh’s ultimate ambition is to be the spark of a positive change in any individuals who come across his words.
Moadh Bukhash (@MoadhBukhash)

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Article in brief: With rapid economic development in a very young nation comes a need to heavily invest in the human capital of the nation. Education, learning opportunities, and massive investments are a thing of the norm for the youth of the region – unfortunately for some, that has turned into a sense of entitlement for the opportunities provided, rather than a recognition that it is a privilege that is being afforded.

Illustration by Dana AlAttar (@DanaAlAttar)

Illustration by Dana AlAttar (@DanaAlAttar)

Two hunters walk through the forest, both hungry, both with families to bring food back to. Their stomachs growl and their hands tremble. They’ve been searching for a kill for hours, with no luck. The thought of going back to the village empty handed is unbearable. What would they tell their wives? How could they let their children sleep with nothing but hunger to fill their bellies? Suddenly, an animal appears, and the two hunters feel the excitement, they know that gaining that kill will wash all their worries away. One of the hunters gets into his zone, readies his spear, and crouches down, with eyes firmly fixed on the target. The other seems laid back, he makes no effort, and almost seems uninterested in pursuing the object of his desire.

Once the kill is made, and the first hunter has the animal ready to be transported, the second hunter appears and makes a claim for half of the animal. Without having made an effort, the second hunter expects to gets his share of the kill. No logic or discourse can divert him away from that stance, and he is adamant that he gets his way.

As odd as that may seem, and as puzzling as his stance might be, it is not something that is unheard of in our modern times. Time and time again, encounters of individuals that walk with an air of entitlement, particularly those in their adolescent years, can be found. Overtime, you would have heard or known of individuals that would rather not make an effort, and yet still expect to have the fruit of their labor (or lack thereof) to be handed to them. This can be found in all walks of life, and particularly in the areas that require that extra effort.

Take the workplace, for example. Many times, a young man or woman walks into a job expecting things to be handed to them. Expecting to be trained, taught, ­invested in, and then given what they expect – a promotion, a pay raise, recognition, or whatever it may be. Now, there is nothing wrong with that process. If anything, it sounds like the perfect scenario, save for one point.

Across all of the things that are incoming, and all the efforts that are being made towards the individual, one thing must ring true: the proactive effort, the willingness to go the extra mile, and to remain patient throughout. Without those, all the effort in the world from an external force will never amount to anything on a personal level. A sense of entitlement negates that underlying principle of hard work combined with humbleness.

The problem with entitlement is that it makes a person feel as though he or she shouldn’t have to work hard for what they want to receive. That he or she should simply receive what they would like to get, with no effort, no hard work, and no patience. Whatever happened to the hard working attitudes of our ancestors? Whatever happened to walking for days and days in the scorching desert to get to a well, simply for some water to quench your thirst?

Perhaps it is a by-product of our economic growth, of the wealth and lavishness that the oil and gas industry has brought upon our cities, our countries, and our region. The need for rapid economic growth requires the rapid development of human capital. That is why one can witness massive amounts of investment in the young generation, with a multitude of opportunities afforded to them. That being said, that young generation needs to be reminded that such prospects are a privilege, not an expectation.

Taking a step back, and going back to the beginning of the article and the story of the hunters. Have we become so pampered that we’ve forgotten one of the most basic facts of life? That we are, as a species, eternally in a competitive environment? That we must fight for what we want, never give up, and always look forward?

The leadership on a country level, on an organizational level, and even within the family have always encouraged hard work and exemplified it terrifically. Having seen the days before the oil wealth came in gave them a sense of perspective of where this region was and how far it has come. That lesson should be etched in the minds of the youth, and forever recited.

Incorporate Sports As A Part Of Our Children’s Lives

Khalifa Al Hajeri

Khalifa Al Hajeri

Column: Tifosi
Khalifa was born and raised in the UAE, with a 4 and bit years university stint in the Canadian lands, before coming back home to work for one of the investment arms of the Abu Dhabi government. Inspired to be the Ray Romano of the magazine, only as a sports journalist that is.
Khalifa believes the world of sports never gets the credit it deserves for its impact on this world. For some, its mere entertainment, but for some its soul therapy and sometimes, survival. In this sports universe, deep in its pockets, he was able to find a lot of pleasure reading for sports journalists like Phil Ball, Gabriel Marcotti, among many others. Considering some of his favorite literature comes from sports writers, he will use this column titled “Tifosi”, which stands for “fan” in Italian, to share this passion with others by discussing sport events that can relate to both fanatics and non fanatics.
Khalifa Al Hajeri

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Article in brief: What is the society’s role in incorporating sports as a part of our children’s lives and the obstacles coming in the way.

Illustration by Dana AlAttar (@DanaAlAttar)

Illustration by Dana AlAttar (@DanaAlAttar)

With a defender from the opposing team breathing down my neck and the sunrays blurring my vision of the long ball hovering towards me, I managed to contain the ball on my chest and shoot it in the same motion. It was my first time playing football on a grass pitch and I had just scored the winning goal, I instinctively ran towards the bench and celebrated by diving onto the luscious green turf with my teammates following in my steps. This adrenaline rush from when I was 11 became the fuel to my childhood dream of being a footballer.

Today, I can only tap into this moment through a frame by frame memory, as my footballing fantasies were dashed when my Dad laughed it off and said that ‘football won’t put bread on your table”.

With that response dormant in my memory, I was genuinely pleased to read a few weeks ago about HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed hosting the parents of the fighters that participated in the latest Jiu Jitsu World Professional Championship that took place in Abu Dhabi.

Praising the parents for encouraging their children in practicing the martial arts sport, he reinforced the notion that competing in such competitions instills characteristics that will strengthen the development of our children. As we have always had unconditional support from our leadership to meet the requirements of our youth, it is now time for the rest of society to look for ways to nurture the positive impact that sports can have on our children.

In comparison to previous generations, participating in a sport today looks like a diminishing venue for children to have fun. One of the reasons is the lack of accessibility, which you would imagine should be available considering the rapid development of our communities. For instance, while flying over Europe, you will always witness a sporting field in almost every community plot.

Sadly and more frequently, children are finding themselves with limited options such as elite sporting academies or facilities that are either expensive or impeded by waiting lists. For the minority that are fortunate to join such establishments, they eventually become overburdened by the commitment of their parents and instead of loving the sport, they develop a sense of obligation leading them to dread any sporting occasion. Besides the lack of open fields, parents have become more protective of their children, becoming worried about the safety conditions of the sport and the possibilities of their children being injured.

In the generation of iPads, Android, and online gaming, our children are more interested in how many kills they got in “Call of Duty” instead of which Karate belt they acquired. As a consequence, it should not be a surprise to us to see our children develop an unhealthy lifestyle, leading us to face crucial issues such as diabetes and obesity.

The work starts from home by introducing the values of sports, allowing our children to grow fond of their hobby and incorporating it as an integral component of their lives. In addition, local entities and schools can be more aggressive in addressing this issue by planning for vacant fields to be installed in communities. Sport entrepreneurial programs such as Ahdaaf and The Dome are progressive in supporting local talent but require more support to enable them to achieve their overall goal of discovering and nurturing talent.

While watching a football game on TV with my dad a couple of years ago, the commentator mentioned the wages the players receive from the clubs they play for.  With his gaze still fixated on the TV screen, he cleared his throat and innocently asked me, “ Why couldn’t you be a footballer, you would have made us rich.”