Article in brief: With the UAE recently celebrating 43 years of success and development, Omar Al Owais discusses how additional development may be achieved through our attitudes.
Patriotism: (noun) the quality of being patriotic; vigorously supporting one’s country and the readiness to defend it at any cost. Pondering on this definition of a quality I’ve constantly associated myself with, I begin to wonder, am I truly a patriot?
Deep down, I know that I am supportive of my country and ready to defend it at all costs, however, do my actions translate this attitude fittingly?
I come from the country with the tallest tower, largest shopping mall and most luxurious hotel, local achievements on a global scale that brought elements of a decent life for its citizens. Have I paid my country back by building my own mind, exposing it to wider horizons and being a proper representative of my nations through my actions rather than my kandoora?
43 years have passed, as every year passes, our nation embraces new challenges. As every year passes, our nation is more in need of its people to raise to new heights in the fields of education, medicine and technology.
Our late Sheikh Zayed, may his soul rest in peace, once said: “Thanks to our ancestors who challenged the adversities of time and the misfortunes of life. Due to their fortitude, our generation is living in prosperity and grace.”
The UAE would not have been as it is today without the will of God and the vision, dedication and diligence of our forefathers. It was their concern for the wellbeing of the coming generations that motivated their success. Similarly, the wellbeing of the future of this nation should come into mind with every step we take.
We have been blessed with resources that cover not only our necessities but our wants too. As individuals, we are members of this economy, and should contribute to its development by investing in homegrown projects in such a manner that they would be successfully franchised abroad. We should make our presence as Emiratis felt around the globe so that international brands create specific lines targeted at Emirati customers. As individuals, we shouldn’t underestimate the power our ideas hold, as far-fetched as they may seem – wasn’t the unity of the seven emirates built on the vision of our founding father?
I recently watched a TED talk by Sheikha Al Mayassa Al Thani of Qatar, in which she spoke about the concept of globalizing the local, and localizing the global, which I was particularly touched by. She says, “We don’t want to be all the same, but we want to respect each other and understand each other.” She emphasized the importance of being global citizens while asserting our Arab identity.
We need to work on contributing to our nation’s betterment with our tears, sweat and blood, rather than wait for development to come on a silver platter. Our government and leadership have offered us decent lives for the past 43 years. For the next 43, we need to work on giving back to our country. We need to work on translating the ideas of unity, diligence and fortitude that we were raised to embrace through our actions. By doing so; we will be patriots.
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