Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Trial reconfirms that Emiratis have a lot to be proud of

The sedition trial is a testimony to the commitment of the UAE's leadership to maintaining the security of the nation through justice.

At a time when millions of Egyptians are on the streets calling for the president's resignation, when Syria is trapped in an awful civil war, and when neighbouring countries such as Bahrain and Kuwait are dealing with pockets of protests, I cannot help but reflect on the unique social, economic and political landscape in the UAE - and breathe a sigh of relief.

Yesterday the UAE's political system, judicial process and freedoms all came to the fore, in a landmark court case.

Emiratis are a proud people - proud of their heritage, proud of each other, and proud of the leaders who have guided them through good and bad times.

More importantly, as mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers, we work hand in hand to provide each other with lives of happiness and dignity, and to give back to the country that has given us all so much.

As Emiratis, and as global citizens, we know that there are three elements that have been created and will continue to govern the fabric of our lives: the freedom to express social, economic and political concerns; the right to a life of dignity; and the security and stability of our nation.

In a sense the trial confirms all three of these elements.

When Mohammed Morsi first took office in Egypt, a year ago this week, one of the first things people did was gather outside the presidential palace in hope of having their concerns heard. In too many countries today, the walls between the leaders and the people appear to grow taller by the day, whereas such walls have never existed in the UAE.

It is beyond the comprehension of a lot of the UAE's citizens that a minority felt the need to create an ill-intentioned group and voice their concerns through other channels.

The UAE's leadership has prided itself on hearing the people's concerns, and welcoming information about the issues citizens face in their day-to-day lives.

The Crown Prince's weekly majlis, open to all, shows this. So do the regular tours of the nation undertaken by members of the Government to check on the health, well-being and progress of citizens and residents. So does the freedom to simply walk up to our leaders when we see them around town.

Our leaders are listening. What separates the UAE from the world is that here the people do not have to go out of their way to express themselves to the rulers. Rather, the rulers go out among the people and seek their opinions.

In public-opinion research carried out by TNS MENA, 91 per cent of Emirati respondents said they were either "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their quality of life. The UAE provides its citizens with free health care, free schooling, sponsored higher education, access to land and interest-free loans to build homes, marriage grants to newlywed couples, employment opportunities and more. Fundamentally, the country provides a platform for citizens to live lives of dignity and pursue their dreams.

However, the sense of dignity does not stop there. It has also been evident in the judicial process in the trial that concluded yesterday: the court provided fair treatment to all the defendants through visitation rights, protection of the identities of the accused and their families, and even assurance of international medical treatment.

More importantly, when the defendants have voiced complaints, the court has investigated, and no signs of unfairness in the judicial process have been discovered. As citizens and residents we can truly be proud of this. Fair trials are a sign of the utmost respect and probity within the justice system.

The UAE has always prided itself on working to promote peace, stability and security throughout the region, starting of course within its borders.

With a population of approximately 7 million, the UAE's citizens and residents depend on that stability, as future generations will, to maintain the way of life they know and cherish.

The UAE has always made it a point to use dialogue and understanding to move towards healthy resolution of disputes, be they domestic or international.

The sedition trial is a testimony to the commitment of the UAE's leadership to maintaining the security of our nation through justice.

I am not a politician, lawyer or activist, so when I speak about the trial I speak as a husband, I speak as a father, and I speak as a proud son of the UAE.

July 2, 2013 will be remembered as the day when a verdict was announced, people were held responsible and the guilty were sorted from the innocent. It is the end point of a process that has showcased a fair judicial system, answered international concerns about freedom and human rights, and put forth the true meaning of unity between a people and its leaders.

Within the walls of our homes, or the boundaries of our beloved country, our leadership has always put our safety and prosperity before everything else.

The late Sheikh Zayed described the relationship between the leaders and the people by saying that we are "all in the same boat, where the people are both captain and crew".

This concept lives on today: our leaders are always beside us, even in the roughest seas. And we will always stand beside them.


Khalid Al Ameri is an MBA candidate at the Stanford Graduate School of Business

On Twitter: @KhalidAlAmeri

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Ali Benflis, opposition leader and main rival to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika speaks to the press after casting his vote in the presidential elections at a polling station in Algiers on. Former prime minister Benflis ran against Bouteflika in 2004 but lost heavily, charging the vote was rigged 10 years ago and has said fraud will be his ‘main adversary’ during the election. Patrick Baz / AFP Photo

Best photography from around the world, April 17

The National View's photo editors pick the best images of the day from around the world.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 Walter Zenga is one win away from claiming silverware for the first time in the UAE. Karim Jaafar / AFP

Walter Zenga seeks early retribution at Al Jazira in Arabian Gulf Cup final

A victory over Al Ahli in the Arabian Gulf Cup final will help prove the Italian has turned around the fortunes of the capital club.

 The new Bentley GT Speed convertible on display at a press event of the New York International Auto Show. Jason Szenes / EPA

In pictures: Hot cars at New York International Auto Show

With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the US car industry. Here are some of the vehicles to be shown in this year’s edition.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National