It takes considerable courage to walk out in front of hundreds of people and sing. Doing so as a teenager shows real determination.
This is what Shamma Hamdan, an 18-year-old Emirati from Dubai, has done - becoming in the process the first Emirati to reach the final stages of the popular reality TV show Arabs Got Talent.
Ms Hamdan's appearance on the show, playing guitar and singing in a Gulf Arabic dialect, received a standing ovation and praise even from the usually brusque Ali Jaber, the Simon Cowell equivalent among the three judges. Despite this success, a few people on Twitter have attacked her for her appearance, calling her a tomboy and saying she doesn't represent Emiratis.
Nothing could be further from the truth. We have seen Emiratis excel in business, sport and media; it is great to see this young woman succeed at an international forum.
Arabs Got Talent is a truly international show, drawing performers and viewers from all across the Arab world. For someone like Ms Hamdan to showcase the Emirates' language and music is inspirational. Regardless of her success at the next stage, Ms Hamdan is already a winner.