Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum - A leader par excellence


A strong humanitarian side should be the main distinguishing quality of every leader, especially in this age of globalisation when a human being cannot be isolated from one another, and one has to interact with everyone at all times.
Real leadership is not confined to geographical or regional boundaries, but it always seeks to encompass a wider horizon and tries to reach out to humanity in general.
It is always looking for solutions to alleviate the sufferings of human beings by trying to understand their concerns and by offering help, irrespective of their ethnic, national or geographical backgrounds.
A leader who has a humane attribute and respects human values of all peoples, near or far, is worthy of leadership and responsibility, and it does not matter where such a leader is from.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is an excellent role model in leadership. His qualities are admired and followed around the world.
Shaikh Mohammad's leadership and generosity are not only confined to the development of his surroundings, but they reach out to many parts of the world. His reputation as a just and progressive ruler is a testimony to his brilliant leadership.
In the UAE, Shaikh Mohammad is laying the foundation for a modern society where social solidarity is the ultimate target. In this society, class, rank and any other factor that may pose a hurdle in the civil and social development of the citizens are eliminated. Moreover, everyone with the required capabilities is given an opportunity to succeed.
Mistakes can happen, but they are learning experiences on the way to excellence. Those who work hard and have good intentions are rewarded, even if they make mistakes.
Shaikh Mohammad also took steps to make the demographic constituents of the UAE society a part of the country's civil society, which mirrors the civilised side of the UAE in general and Dubai in particular.
This has helped Dubai to become one of the world's leading financial, economic and shopping hubs. So much so that many multinational corporations have set up their regional headquarters in the emirate. Here, they feel safe and protected from any mistreatment that violates the general laws of any civilised country.
Another trademark of Shaikh Mohammad's leadership is his determination to achieve social justice and equality for all people in the eyes of the law and government.
It is not unusual now to hear of action being taken against those who had felt that they were immune to questioning because of their status or position.
Those who misuse their positions may feel safe for a while, but the alert monitoring authorities, which are supervised by Shaikh Mohammad, are always ready to curb any violations.
As long as the leadership's eyes are open, and there is a strong will to take action, any negative aspects will disappear soon. Social justice is the cornerstone of any ongoing development.
Moreover, the lack of social justice or the absence of a monitoring authority to enforce it will slow down the march to development, and in extreme cases, even stop it completely.
What makes us feel optimistic and pray for the success of Shaikh Mohammad's endeavours is that he does not confine his work to his surroundings, but always extends a helping hand to the entire world.


Global initiative
Dubai Cares was Shaikh Mohammad's first global initiative, which is aimed at fighting poverty with education, especially in developing countries, where illiteracy is very high. Other countries too are following his lead in spreading education to poor societies. Around four million children worldwide are the beneficiaries of the Dubai Cares initiative. There is no doubt that education and awareness will make a big difference in the lives of these people and their societies.

The second major humanitarian initiative of Shaikh Mohammad, which was announced last week, is another major step meant to help many people across the world. Noor Dubai aims to provide treatment to over one million blind people, or those threatened by blindness.
Such humanitarian projects deserve a lot of praise, not only for the service that they provide, but because they activate humanitarian sentiments to react and work for the best of mankind.
By Abdul Gaffar Hussain is a UAE researcher and writer.