When I was young, Dubai was that mystical place from where beaming uncles came from, loaded with gifts. While the whole family would wait jostling for space in the crowded visitor’s room, they would emerge, pushing trolleys overflowing with swollen airbags. The rest of the day would be spend amidst amazing toys , exotic sweets, dazzling perfume bottles and shiny attires . The alluring smell emanating from these FOREIGN items still lingers in my mind, an inseparable constituent of yesteryear memories. In those days I was under the impression that Dubai was a city built in the sky. Didn’t uncles have to get into flying planes to go there ? I had shared this idea with many of my classmates and had succeeded in creating a huge following for the City in the clouds concept. When I came here in 2002 and saw the skyscrapers reaching for the skies, I couldn’t help smiling. I was correct after all.
What does this country mean to me ?
• It has provided us a secure haven and have taken us closer to our dreams.
• It has provided us lot of extremely good friends, from around the world.
• It has taken us closer to god.
• It has provided millions of my brothers and sisters a better life.
• It has provided solace to many poor and needy in my community.
• It was built partly by the sweat of my brethren.
• It has graciously hosted my family for 8 years- 23% of my life.
No wonder, the fluttering of its flag and the strains of it national anthem create the same feeling that the symbols of my own nationality create in me.
No wonder, I instinctively get happy when it progresses…. When it proudly wins matches, builds the biggest and the best and finds ways to beat the treacherous tides of the economy.
No wonder, I sincerely pray for the health and longevity of this nation and its visionary leaders.