Monday, 31 August 2009

A Living Legend

Ramadan Kareem,

After a short holidays with family, I'm working again and ready to strart again with the blog.

My engineer, Carlos Rocha, sent me a PDF with a great tribute to His Highness Sheikh Saqr Bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, father of our partner in RAK Edigaia, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Saqr Al Qasimi.

More than a tribute, this PDF show an interview of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed talking about his father. In my opinion, this interview shows who is H.H. Sheikh Mohamed Al Qasimi as a man, as a businessman and as a friend.

I already did a tribute to H.H. Sheikh Saqr Al Qasimi on this blog but now I will post here the interview of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed.

The longest reigning ruler in the Middle East, HH Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi has completed 60 years of rule and is the pride of the UAE.

People Come First

“Sheikh Saqr asked his people if they wanted to be a part of the UAE Federation or function as an independent country. Based on their consensus for unification, he joined the Federation. It was almost electoral”.
My memories of my father are divided into two sections – my interaction with him as a son and as an employee in his government.

When I was 7-8 years old, I was sitting in his majlis while he was presiding over a land dispute.

There were two groups of the same tribe who had a issue over land and they were seated in two separate rows. An elderly man from the end of the first row, who, perhaps, more agitated than the rest, unleashed his sword and ran to strike my father but was overpowered by his own tribesmen. While most of us in the majlis were shocked, all along, I saw my father unperturbed. He sat where he was and didn’t move from his place. While most of us thought he would imprison the man for his misconduct, Sheikh Saqr simply pardoned him, because he always believes power has to be used in the right place. Ruling Ras Al Khimah, which has a host of tribes each different than the other, would need a special way of governance, and my father had the acumen. He believes that being a Ruler is a power bestowed upon him by God and that is why, it has to be used correctly.

After I completed my studies in Philosophy from the Cairo University, I joined the Courts Department in Ras Al Khaimah in 1979. Unlike other departments that usually deal with locals, the courts deal with a cross-section of people of all nationalities.

My father always taught me to keep my cool, be silent and be impartial while imparting judgement. He told me, “Many people will cry but their tears could be false, many people laugh but they needn’t necessarily be happy. Close your eyes to the person’s age, nationality, gender, colour or religion. We must discover who is right and who is wrong.” However, he was extremely judicious too. Once, an expatriate child, who had been abroad for studies, was returning home to Ras Al Khaimah when his parents realised his visa had expired. It was 2am in the night and the family came knocking on Sheikh Saqr’s door. He was up and solved the problem immediately.

His involvement in the emirate’s welfare is so intense that he is loved and revered by all his people. In times of crisis, people have travelled down from the mountains and deserts to safeguard him. When there was word about the Federation, he addressed his people in an open majlis. I was there too, and I remember there were hundreds of people, from all strata and vocations who had assembled there. He asked them if they would consent that Ras Al Khaimah join the Federation, and asked Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Humaid Al Qasimi, to count the number of hands that went up. When there was a majority, he consented that RAK join the Federation. It was nearly electoral.

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