How beautiful it is to be part of a world in which the rulers and people of a country compete to attain qualitative achievements that the nations can be proud of.
The best example of this is the unprecedented Emirati achievement in sending the Hope Probe to Mars.
The UAE, and all of us as Arabs, are deservedly proud of the achievement. It sends a civilised message to the world, and is an assurance that Arabs are not only able to contribute to the efforts of scientific progress but also to lead these efforts.
All the countries congratulated the UAE for this outstanding achievement. The warmest congratulations and blessings were from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Everyone realises that we face the same challenges and the same successes.
While rogue states race towards possessing ballistic missile programmes capable of carrying nuclear warheads and possessing military satellites, to threaten the security of their neighbours and the world, the Hope Probe hovers around Mars to reveal new chapters in the progress of humanity and the service of its welfare.
Even when the Arab Gulf states arm themselves, they do so to only defend themselves and not to threaten anyone, or interfere in their affairs. How easy it is to poison minds with abhorrent ideological and sectarian ideas, destroy civilisations and societies, and stir up conflicts and wars!
Reconstruction requires determination, effort, and time. This is the difference between builders and destroyers.
I look at Saudi Arabia and see it rise with a new concept that seizes the original cultural heritage in one hand and opens the door to civilisation, progress, and culture with another. Despite many challenges resulting from the decline in oil prices and the region’s unstable geopolitical conditions, Saudi Arabia is still moving forward with mega projects such as “The Line”, and forming Riyadh as a civilised, industrial, commercial and advanced centre in the Middle East. This, in addition to mega tourism projects and advanced infrastructure.
Bahrain is the country that I love. I admire its leadership and respect its people. Most of all because I have high regard for all that they have accomplished with their limited financial capabilities in delivering progress and a bouquet of reasons for the happiness and well-being of its citizens.
We must acknowledge the kingdom’s efforts to build large infrastructure projects, to move on with urban and tourism development, provide high-quality health and education services, and job opportunities in addition to maintaining the highest levels of security, safety, and stability.
I see Bahraini competencies and energies competing locally, regionally, and globally.
Recently, Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa was able to compete for the position of secretary general of Unesco, and she was close to victory. Her ambitious journey gave her the opportunity to project the bright civilised face of her country to the world.
The Hope Probe carries messages of pride, hope, and peace to the Arab region and aims to renew the golden age of Arab discoveries. With the UAE’s success in establishing an Arab scientific and research presence in Mars exploration, the Probe has become a source of inspiration for several million people in 56 Arab and Islamic countries.
Will it be a beacon of hope that resurrects the Arabs? Thomas Zurbuchin, co-director of the Scientific Tasks Department at the Nasa, wrote on Twitter that the UAE’s bold move to explore Mars will inspire many countries to follow. He quoted a verse by the Arab poet AlMutanabi: “If you ventured in pursuit of glory, do not be satisfied with less than the stars.”
The mission of the Hope Probe has already succeeded, and the probe has proven to the world that ambition and passion can push a young country to join the club of world powers in the field of space research. Greetings to the UAE, its leadership, its people, and all the great minds who planned and designed this venture and created a new reality despite all the extreme challenges. I am sure that this experience will not be the end of the exploration of new horizons in our big world; the Arab mind is ambitious beyond limits.