As the various contributors make clear in their informative text, these contrasts bear witness to the remarkable achievements of the leaders of the United Arab Emirates over the past twenty five years. With the wisdom and foresight, and the inspiration of Islamic values, they have succeeded both in forging a common sense of national identity and in investing the wealth brought by oil for the mutual benefit of their citizens.
The book also describes how the resilience and integrity of the inhabitants of the United Arab Emirates, in the face of one of the most punishing environments on earth, prepared them for the challenge of adapting to such phenomenal change, while preserving their religious and cultural values. The ancient Arabian myth of the phoenix is an apt comparison for the transformation which the United Arab Emirates has undergone in the course of its short history.
From the Preface & Acknowledgements
The idea of Phoenix Rising came to me carried upon the wind, so to speak. Back in the autumn of 1994, discussing old acquaintances and faded memories with a friend whom I'd not seen for fourteen years, we talked about the Emirates, where he'd been living for some of those years. He spoke of the people's hospitality and generosity of spirit, and though but a small and relatively new state, boasted of its prosperity and great achievements.
I had myself just come out of a period of grieving for the loss of my father whom I had also not been able to see for the previous fourteen years and who, consequences at times had seemed insurmountable, its very intensity triggering a mid-life course change. I'd been writing my life's journey for the previous nine months, and wanted to go back to more creative endeavours that would fill my spirit, as well as my pocket. I'd started life as a journalist, moved on to politics, then put myself out to grass tilling the soil of enterprise, writing and publishing from time to time. And it was to publishing that I had returned when the Phoenix crossed my path.