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My Friday Journal

Lubna Qassim posted this on







It’s the first Friday morning of May and my eyes are wide awake since 7 in the morning. Don’t ask me why? I guess my body is accustomed to starting this early daily and is unable to distinguish between a Friday – a rest day or a Monday – working day. I am delighted that it is the week-end finally.

I am very lazy to come out of my room this morning, I am sitting and randomly reflecting about my city, our society which is in continuous transition, the past, the present and our future. New ideas but no new thoughts.

It is a great feeling to be back home finally after having spent the peak years of my life in England and wake up in the comfort of my Dubai home and hopefully can say this time I am here for good. One thing I can vouch for is that all these years that I was physically away I had left my soul behind at home.  Although away, I never sensed any detachment from home, culture or family. Which is a true blessing!

I guess the most important years of my life was spent away from home. I consider England my home too, because I spent my peak years there and it is the years that I spent there contributed and moulded me to the person I am today. I am often asked, If I miss it? To be honest I miss the diligence of a sophisticated system, I miss the Art and Theatre scene of London, and no doubt I miss my dear friends and colleagues. There is a lot more I miss about England but I am extremely ecstatic to be among my immediate family and no joy in the world can replace the joy of proximity I share with my family today.

On certain levels, a country in contrast to ours. It moves cautiously and slowly. We on the other hand are on the other extreme. We move and continue to move at the light of a speed and take huge risks. Not necessarily one way is better than the other, each society and economy has its needs and there are many ways of fulfilling the requirements of each economy. We choose to do it our way.

When I first arrived, I was a tourist in my own home town, trying to re-connect with my new transformed city. Some changes I could relate to, other changes I accepted and some changes I still feel alien to. That is natural for someone like myself who has moved back, and for a city which has transformed so rapidly in such a short pace of time and I guess will continue to change in the years to come. It is sad that many things which used to be part of my childhood no longer exists and it’s only part of my memories now. On the other hand, I can assume if I went to England after 30 years I will still find the bookshop and the post office I used to visit, sadly here shops which existed 5 years ago are no longer there. The span of sustainability is extremely short.

After 8 months I can proudly and comfortably say that I can reach my destination without missing the flyovers or the exits on Sheikh Zayed Road. That is an achievement. I never remember Dubai being at a standstill, it is always up to something.

The world has acknowledged us being the city which has the tallest, the biggest, the rarest… We wake up every morning to a new launch of a mega real estate project worth billions of dollars. Many have also described our city as a “Construction Site”. Many are very critical of all the changes and the fast pace, others don’t hold a strong personal view because they may be here for a stop over to enjoy the tax free haven, make the most of the luxurious life style and move on.

I personally support all the changes and development I am very encouraging of all the positive changes and think it is just unbelievable what we have achieved so far, I wish however the changes were made at a different pace. The biggest challenge for us will be to sustain the growth in the coming years.

I am proud to be a child of this nation. There may be few matters we may dislike or like to see it happen differently but as my favourite Mahatma Ghandi said: “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

2 May 2008

My Friday Journal

Home, Dubai

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