View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Thursday, November 29, 2007

UAE: Growing Like Date Palm

Just when I was berating banks for their inefficiency and mistakes I was disarmed when given a present this week at the local branch of the HSBC.

Was this a spontaneous gift with no strings attached? A way of appeasing guilt for mistakes to their customers?

The reason for the gift to every customer was that the HSBC was wanting us to celebrate UAE nationhood.

The gift came in a special box—two packets of Emirati dates and then some instructions in a little booklet in Arabic and English on how to get the seeds to grow. It said:

Take a tiny date seed. Plant it. Watch it grow over the years, as it becomes amongst the tallest in the world.

Listen to people from the far corners of the earth talk about it.

Visit it and seek shelter under its shade.

See them enjoy the fruit and benefit from its prosperity.

Observe them get inspired to plant their own seeds so that one day they too will have a palm of their own.

Only then will you come close to feeling how we feel, having witnessed this nation grow since December 2, 1971.

Happy National Day.

A beautiful gesture this was and so symbolic. Not only in banking but in all sectors of society, the vital thing is to make a long term investment and to leave a rich legacy to others when your earthly life is over. Yes, Happy National Day!

Dr Geoff Pound