Across the Emirates, people share their praise for the Golden Jubilee of the country they call home – a place that welcomes everyone and prides itself on cultural diversity and a spirit of peaceful coexistence.
Hassan Karim Al Blooshi
Emirati Dubai Police employee
Hassan Karim Al Blooshi has lived in the same UAE flag-draped house in Al Satwa for 60 years, receiving guests with a kind-hearted smile and welcoming attitude. Al Blooshi, a former Dubai Police officer, admires the UAE and its rulers for taking good care of its people, regardless of their nationalities. “There is no difference between local and foreign residents. We love anybody who’s coming from the outside, we don’t see them as outsiders,” he says. Al Blooshi is ready to celebrate the Golden Jubilee, believing that the country’s quick progression is as a result of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s determined vision. “We all love the flag, we love the rulers – we decorate our cars and our homes to express our love,” he shares.
Lebanese head and focal point for Sharjah – Unesco Creative City of Crafts and Folk Arts
Oman-born and Abu Dhabi-raised, Farah Nasri currently resides between Sharjah and Dubai, and credits the UAE for teaching her the qualities of leadership. “It’s a pleasure for me to be working in the creative cultural field for the UAE,” she says. “The country has taught me that nothing is impossible. It’s not only my home; it has also taught me to dream. I wish for the UAE to excel and keep on achieving its dreams.”
Aisha Al Harmoodi
Emirati visual artist
The visual artist from Sharjah has made an imprint on the cultural sector with her creative work. Aisha Al Harmoodi admires the UAE for embracing diversity, constantly evolving, and hosting content from different parts of the world. “Seeing it complete its 50 years, I feel greatful to be part of this land, and part of the celebration of its glory. We are ready to celebrate more!” she says. As a woman breaking through in a male-dominated industry, she appreciates the UAE for accepting her voice and echoing it.
Khawla Al Blooshi
Emirati camel racer
Taking pride in her country – which has accepted her as the first Emirati woman to compete side-by-side with men in a camel race in Dubai – Al Blooshi strides along the preliminary race for the national camel racing sport. “I would like to thank Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center, HE Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmook, and our rulers, because they are always supporting us,” she says. She hopes more young women will participate in camel racing and that the sport will one day have its own female camel racing tournament. “Dubai is the city of development,” she says. “Both culturally and technologically.”
Munira Al Sayegh
Emirati independent curator and founder of Dirwaza Curatorial Lab
Enthusiastic about the UAE’s accomplishments, Munira Al Sayegh is grateful to grow alongside a constantly progressing country. “It’s incredible to be in such an inspiring country, in a space that is inviting and welcoming, and full of collaborations and togetherness,” she says. Al Sayegh feels that the soul of the Golden Jubilee is visible in the coexistence of different cultures, and that is what makes the UAE so special. “The art scene exists in the spirit of togetherness, progression, collaboration, and creativity,” she believes.
Hilal Ahmed Bou Ibrahim
Emirati camel farm owner
Considering them a source of life, Hilal Ahmed Bou Ibrahim has dedicated his days to camels. “Raising camels runs in our blood, because we live with and from them,” he says. Ibrahim feels proud of his traditional heritage and believes that the UAE has crossed significant milestones ever since unifying. “After the seven emirates united, our father Zayed, may God rest his soul in peace, made us comfortable in every area of our lives. The UAE now is thriving in everything. We are comfortable and happy.”
Jaafar and Shouaib and Al Janahi
Bahraini fabric traders
Standing outside a textile shop decorated with UAE flags, Jaafar and Shouaib Al Janahi consider their trade a part of the country’s traditions. Shouaib says his craft was passed down from his father, Jaafar, who has been in the UAE for more than 45 years. Shouaib grew up in the shop, and lived all his life beside it. “Dubai is the pearl of the world,” he says. “It’s natural to want to decorate the shop in celebration of National Day and to welcome visitors to Dubai.”
Kanbar Bashir Bayaban Zada
Standing in front of his home in Al Satwa, exuberantly decorated to celebrate the Golden Jubilee, Kanbar Bashir Bayaban Zada narrates the story of how the UAE transformed after the seven emirates united in 1971. After Dubai joined the Union, many job opportunities opened up for the youth, as they were also encouraged to join the military. Zada says future elevation is in the hands of the young generations. “I pray to God to keep blessing us with the UAE, and our leaders. The youth of the UAE will constantly hoist the country and elevate it to the highest positions,” he shares.
The 21-year-old was born and raised in Dubai and honors the city as one of the safest she knows. Sinan is grateful to be part of it, considering it her second home. “I think it’s one of the happiest countries ever,” she shares. “I hope to give back to Dubai by working here, having a family here, and living here all my life.”
Originally published in the December 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia