An optimistic book during troubled times

Turki Aldakhil
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During a recent event, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed read excerpts of the book Reflections on Happiness and Positivity which is written by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The book discussed visions and goals on the social and individual levels. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed then commented: “The worst thing you can do is to wait.”


We don’t commend this book just because it is written by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, who is very popular across the region due to his successful development model. We also praise it considering the circumstances in which it was released.

There is widespread chaos in the region as violence has spread and blood is being shed. Failed states surrounding the Gulf has unfortunately increased the huge burden on the region and the world.

The book comes is mean to reassure generations that sustainable development based on well-devised plans is what guarantees an affluent life for people and provides fulfillment and comfort.

This is the best-selling book at the most important exhibition in the Arab world, the Riyadh International Book Fair. Young men and women are the fair’s most frequent visitors. This clearly indicates that the new generations desire a better future and want to overcome calamities, difficulties and the events of the past five years.

Ideologies alone do not achieve development. It is also important to be inspired by the experiences of other rising nations

Turki Aldakhil

Essential elements

A longing for life’s essential elements always exists. First of them would be good education which has been achieved through Gulf scholarship programs. Gulf students, both male and female, tour the world and learn about new cultures. They interact with people who speak a different language and whose heritage is completely different than everything they’re used to.

Then comes the quality of life. Gulf leaders emphasize its importance as good life implies good healthcare, which ensures a decent living for people and their families without having to immigrate or finding a job outside their country. Amid all this controversy and the growing desire to improve living conditions, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s book talks about an atmosphere of optimism for the future generations.

“In it, we propose an administrative and developmental vision that’s based on optimism and positivity. In this book, I tried to answer many of the deep questions related to development. I based my answers on my experience in life and I adopted a simple narrative style to make the book closer to youths. ‘Reflections on Happiness and Positivity’ narrates lessons, models and stories based on a different life philosophy: positivity as a perspective and making people happy as an aim and way of life. It’s through this book that we try– even if slightly – to create hope, transfer our experience to our region and revive civilization in the Arab world,” Sheikh Mohammed writes in the book.

Collapse of regimes

It is painful to watch countries that used to be pillars of the Arab world 25 years ago fall apart one after another due to slogans wise people warn against. Some of these slogans are leftist, reactionary xenophobic while some of them just simply oppose the West. All these have resulted in the collapse of regimes and everything the wise men warned of happened.

Ideologies alone do not achieve development. It is also important to be inspired by the experiences of other rising nations. This is what creates civilized and developed experiences and the West has been the pioneer of modern renaissance.

The significance of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s book is marked by its historic release. In it, he also bravely voices his opinion and accurately conveys his ideas. Talking about this book inevitably leads to discussing the future.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed noted that he was not praising the book because its author is a ruler and a prominent figure. He was praising it because of its content, which is based on the experiences of the majestic place called Dubai.

This article was first published in Al-Bayan on March 15, 2016.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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