UAE vice president: You must change or you will be changed

UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum addressing participants at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Sunday.
Updated 13 February 2017

UAE vice president: You must change or you will be changed

DUBAI: In order for the Arab civilization to regain its past glories, the Arab world should begin by comprehending the indicators for the future, said Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum.
Sheikh Mohammed made the remarks today while addressing a panel of the World Government Summit, which was attended by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Sheikh Mohammed referred to a “clear message” he made to the Arab governments 12 years ago that “you must change, or you will be changed.”
“As we talk about resuming civilization, we need hope. I am optimistic because it is the man who makes civilization, economy and prosperity. If the Arab and Muslim man succeeded in building a civilization in the past, they are capable of resuming it,” he added.
Sheikh Mohammed said the Arab world possesses all potentials, including human resources, education, fertile lands and will power.
“The only thing missing is the management. The management of governments, economy, resources, infrastructure and even management of sports. We are 300 million, almost equal to the population of the United States, but look how many medals they win in the Olympic Games. We have failures in certain areas that need to be addressed.”
Asked about his greatest personal achievement, Sheikh Mohammed said: “The UAE has many achievements that my brother Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, my other brothers, and I, are very proud of. I believe the biggest achievement is the building of the UAE citizens, the citizens who are capable of everything, including running the economy.”
He recalled that when the federation was founded by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, “we were just 40 university graduates. Now, we have 77 universities, teeming with thousands of students. We have a program to reach Mars, fully run by young Emiratis.”
Answering a question how the UAE managed to balance economic and tourism openness with security, Sheikh Mohammed said: “The world’s problems are open-ended and we have to grow for the interest of our people and our country. If we said 40 years ago let us stop until it is safe, we would’nt achieve anything. We have people who carry out their duty of keeping us secure, while we are engaged in developing our country.”
Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE has no recipe for success, but to endeavor, learn, gain expertise and importantly, appreciate the value of time.
“We do not boast perfection. We still learn every day and we waste no time because for us, time is like a running river. The experiment of the UAE speaks for itself for whoever wants to emulate it. All I can say is that we have advanced qualities in leadership and management,” he said.
Sheikh Mohammed praised UAE’s special relations with Egypt, describing the latter as “the heart and soul of the Arab world.”
On how to develop civilization through separating religion and politics, he said: During the pre-Islam era, tribes fought and invaded each others and when Islam came, the civilization started. Today, there are people with half or no knowledge at all, who blow themselves up in Europe and America in the name of faith. Their interpretation of Islam is completely wrong. It is a tolerant faith that calls for peace for all people of the world, not only Muslims. They just want to kill men, enslave women and refer that to religion. They simply know nothing.”


Iraqi security forces raid Baghdad’s main protest camp, shoot at demonstrators

Updated 25 January 2020

Iraqi security forces raid Baghdad’s main protest camp, shoot at demonstrators

  • The clashes took place after authorities began removing concrete barriers near Tahrir Square and across at least one main bridge over the Tigris River in Baghdad
  • Security forces began the raids just hours after populist cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr said he wound halt the involvement of his supporters in the anti-government unrest

BAGHDAD: Iraqi security forces raided Baghdad’s main protest site at Tahrir Square on Saturday, firing live rounds and tear gas at anti-government demonstrators who have camped out there for months, Reuters reporters said.
There were no immediate reports of casualties but at least seven people were wounded in clashes with police earlier in the day, medics and security sources said.
The clashes took place after authorities began removing concrete barriers near Tahrir Square and across at least one main bridge over the Tigris River in Baghdad.
In the southern city of Basra, security forces raided the main anti-government sit-in overnight and deployed in force to stop protesters gathering there again, security sources said. Police arrested at least 16 protesters in Basra, they said.
The actions appeared to be an attempt to fully clear out anti-government sit-ins and end months of popular demonstrations that have called for the removal of Iraq’s entire ruling elite.
Security forces began the raids just hours after populist cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr said he wound halt the involvement of his supporters in the anti-government unrest.
Sadr had supported the demands of protesters for the removal of corrupt politicians and provision of services and jobs soon after the demonstrations began in October but stopped short of calling all his followers to join in.
Many of Sadr’s millions of supporters who hail from Baghdad’s slums have been involved in demonstrations, however.
Sadr’s followers held a march on Friday calling for a removal of US troops from the country in a rally separate from the anti-government protests. The march, which some observers expected to descend into violence, dissipated after several hours.
Sadr wrote on Twitter late on Friday that he would “try not to interfere in the issue (of protesters), either negatively or positively, so that they can shepherd the fate of Iraq.” He did not elaborate.
In Basra, protesters urged Sadr to reconsider what they said was a withdrawal of support for popular demonstrations. In a letter circulated on social media, they called for the support of Sadrists, without whom they feared attacks by security forces.