Ahmad Majjan at the 43rd International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva, Switzerland, in April 2015. He won a gold medal for inventing a smart saddle. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: For the past 45 years, father of seven children and grandfather of two, Ahmad Abdullah Majjan from Dubai recounts how his father played a major role in shaping his character and teaching him skills at a young age.

“I recall when my father got me a bicycle, I tried modifying it and created my first ever invention, a radio for the bicycle; I was only seven then. I was always wondering why things function the way they do and not in another way. In school, I was a fan of history, I enjoyed studying about inventors and scientists, as I believe that learning the past will teach you how to succeed in the future.

“My father had the first ever car workshop in 1948; he was the first mechanic in the country. Every Thursday, he would paint the cars and then cover them with sand paper. The next morning, it was my job to remove the sand paper, and he would give me five dirhams for it. He was such an inspiration to me, he was extremely persevering and taught us the value of work, productivity and achieving goals. Today, my 7-year-old son Fazzaa has the same passion for repairing and amending electronics.

“I always invent something for a reason. I remember when my first daughter Alhanouf was born, she would keep crying and wake us up every night. I came up with the idea of creating a baby cot that would swing her automatically every time she cried, I also added her mum’s lullaby on to it to pacify her.

“I always say a dream and fantasy lead to reality; but in reality many problems arise. The idea of my inventions I was awarded for in 2013 was stolen by someone else, which is why I’m keen on getting all my inventions patented.

“I have hundreds of inventions, which are very dear to me. Some of my inventions take three days and some take up to three years to complete. There are times when I feel guilty because I don’t get to spend much time with my family, but I’m grateful to my wife as she is very supportive of me.

“If you split the word in Arabic for inventor ‘Mokhtaree’ into two parts – ‘mokh’ means brain and ‘taree’ means full; it means full brain. I believe that I can find alternatives and solutions for everything and there is no such thing as impossible.

“[The world of inventions]... is a struggle because you must prove your idea and fight for it.”

“It’s sad that people remember inventors and speak about them after they’re gone, but I’m glad that this is now changing... in the UAE, there’s a lot of support for science, technology and innovation. I aspire to see more Emirati scientists and inventors in the future.”

Majjan’s daughter Alhanouf says her dad has been very encouraging in making them challenge themselves and achieve something to be remembered for.

“His first 30 inventions were named after me and he would always take my opinion into consideration,” she says.

“In school I would feel very proud when people called me the daughter of the inventor. I would show my classmates my dad’s photos published in the newspapers. Just as my father would talk to us about our grandfather’s perseverance, today, I tell my children about their grandfather’s inventions and how they can serve society.”