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Image Credit: Qissati: Shaikh Mohammad's 'incomplete autobiography

The Rulers of the UAE are exemplary leaders. They teach us lessons in various values like tolerance, patience and perseverance. My favourite is a lesson in patience by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai when he encountered a terrorist in 1973. He talks about the incident in his book “Qissati” (My Story), and how he calmly handled the stressful situation.

Osamu Maruoka, was a prominent figure in the Japanese Red Army (JRA). The JRA aimed to overthrow the Japanese government at that time. In July of the same year, both the groups hijacked Japanese Airline aircraft (JAL). The plane had hundreds of passengers on board. They were threatening to blow up the plane and kill all the people on it. The hijackers were demanding permission to land at the Dubai International Airport.

After a brief discussion, Sheikh Mohammad granted them permission to land the plane in Dubai. He wrote about how he interacted with the terrorists calmly. Ultimately, Maruoka flew to Libya and released all the passengers and crew members. The plane blew up soon after.

We can infer many things from this incident. Sheikh Mohammad very wisely tackled this otherwise complicated problem. Had he not taken these steps, many innocent people would have lost their lives.

Such qualities are what set leaders apart from common men.

If he wanted, Sheikh Mohammad could have sent a large troop to tackle the terrorists, but he was wise enough to have patience and negotiate calmly with the people rather than cause unnecessary bloodshed. This is also one of the things which differentiate the leaders of UAE from other nations.

There are some things we see in this story, which we should apply in our lives. Sheikh Mohammad did not lose his temper, as he knew this would pose danger for those on board.

Whenever we are angry about something or someone we should not lose our temper as this could ruin the situation. We should be patient, think calmly and always speak in an even tone. We should also consider the consequences of taking action. This is exactly what Sheikh Mohammad did in this account.

- The reader is a Dubai-based student.

UAE: A platform for growth

By Aftab Ahmad

It is indeed a miracle that very few governments and systems stand out as beacons of compassion and tolerance in our disturbed world. The current initiative of the UAE stands out as an example to others because of their approach and the way people live together in peace and harmony. It is in the UAE you see peaceful coexistence among more than 200 different nationalities, all lending a hand towards helping improve the nation at a fast pace.

It is a matter of pride that the UAE has provided the atmosphere of complete and firm brotherhood amongst the different communities living and working here. There is complete independence for people to practice their faiths and religions. This makes the bonds of humanity stronger.

Everyone is satisfied and happy here. Under the leadership, innovative schemes and unique technology is pushing the economy up to new heights for the benefit of all the expats and residents living here. There have been improvements made in the educational sector, which has helped place the UAE at a higher position. Steps towards exploration of space have also set the UAE at par with other nations. Its civil aviation has made a mark and enabled tourism to grow at a tremendous rate.

Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah are developing at a very fast rate and providing a large number of job opportunity to all. The lifestyle here is one to be proud of. To conclude, the UAE is the beacon of light for the ships of success sailing towards progress. There is no doubt that the UAE is heading towards being a leading pioneer in stabilising the world and showing other countries the way towards achieving contentment and happiness.

-The reader is a resident of Dubai.

UAE Flag Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

UAE: A place where the world meets

By Titus George Koprapurayil

As the UAE celebrated its 48th National Day, a sense of accomplishment prevailed among the visionary Rulers of this country – that they have transformed this desert nation to an oasis of opportunities. People from all parts of the globe flocked here carrying with them their dreams and aspirations, converting them into realities and thereby helping in building this great country. This metamorphosis from a desert country to one of the most modern over a period of less than 50 years is a feat which many cannot emulate. The true vision demonstrated by the leadership of this great nation over the years has inculcated a value system among the residents that people of over a 100 countries of different racial, cultural, religious, linguistic and culinary differences co-exist here in peace and harmony.

It is only in the fittest of things that the UAE government has decided to celebrate this year as the Year of Toleranceolerance. Here again, they stand out among other nations. It is in this background that this nation stands out as a beacon of tolerance where they are proclaiming loudly and clearly to the world that they mean business. The construction of an Abrahamic Faith House consisting of a mosque, a church and a synagogue and issuing licenses to places of worship of different religions and communities residing here are all powerful symbols that promulgate to the world that walk their talk. The UAE will be a jewel in the crown of tolerance. It is also a strong message to the world that hate is not a part of any religion. Celebrating this year as a Year of Tolerance is a natural culmination, since the virtue of tolerance was there in this nation’s framework, and has been demonstrated by the Emiratis in welcoming, accommodating and caring for the expat community, which forms 80 per cent of this country’s population. The government, has only emphasised and underlined the fact that, it is this virtue, among others, that had helped this nation to be considered and treated among the best in the world. The UAE is destined for greater heights and in its quest for excellence in all fields, let us all passionately and diligently play our roles.

- The reader is a resident of Abu Dhabi.