My mom has told me there is something about learning a lesson from someone else mouth other than your mothers. She is right. A few weeks ago I was on the phone with my mom and she said to me that I need to think positively. Thoughts effect reality because perception is reality. She has told me this more time than I can count, but it obviously hasn’t stuck if she has to keep saying it.
Well, once again someone reminded me to think positive thoughts, and live a positive and productive life. But this time it came from the mouth of a Sheikh.
What is a Sheikh?
A leader in Arab culture that can have social, political or cultural influence. This influence is derived by familial ties and has varied levels of influence. The Sheikh’s influence can extend as far as an entire tribe.
The Green Sheikh is a tribal leader within the Ajman Royal Family, which is the ruling party of the Emirate of Ajman.
Now don’t get me wrong his status doesn’t have so much to do with why it was influential. It was more so to do with the kindness in his words, the manifestation of those words and the welcoming vibe he emanated.
Thursday October 18th, 2018, my group spent the day with His Highness Sheikh Abdul Aziz, as he discussed living a balance life, happiness, rethinking sustainability and investing in other people. He then showed us his investment in the community of Ajman. He decided to help his community by opening a low-cost clinic, and food pantry, and collecting donated clothes. These sites are on the same street, so access to all the services is pretty much a one stop shop.
What makes this even better is that these opportunities are self-sustainable. The Sheikh described that the funding for these projects comes from investments in other buildings, in which the 5-10% of profits are reinvested back into the clinic. This lessens the possibility of his clinic facing budget cuts due to failure to receive external funding or lack of donations.
The food drive that we participated in takes place daily. Yes, it is a daily drive, in which daily necessities such as milk, bread, cereal, and juice are provided. We were told anywhere from 250-500 women and children come to receive food daily.
The Best Part
Since coming to UAE, there is this repetitive mantra of “Nothing is Impossible” and a desire to be the best. Here, the best doesn’t necessarily mean the richest. A part of being the best is taking care of your people in the best way possible. More importantly these are
“Emirati people” but they aren’t Emirati people. Many of the people served through these community efforts are ex-pats who are widowed, or low income. The Sheikh mentioned the importance of lifting others, and in doing so we all rise. It isn’t the first time I have heard something like this and it most certainly won’t be the last. But considering his position of influence actualize such idealism in the most considerate of ways was inspiring. It exemplified that power doesn’t necessarily equate stepping on others, hands on helping others isn’t limited to the good will of those on the outskirts of political influence. It’s easy when seeking to do good in the world to become bogged down with the limitations and the standards of what is normal. But, “Nothing is IMPOSSIBLE”, especially when it comes to helping others succeed.