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Since 2008, we have been talking about national identity. We have been occupied throughout these years with defining and dissecting national identity. Whenever national identity is mentioned, words like language, religion, customs, traditions, heritage, food, drink and others pop up, but we always forget that the value of work and productivity is one of the components of our national identity. It is a cherished and genuine value that we inherited from our fathers.

Identity is not merely an arc placed on the facade building. Identity is “us”; it is our coherent social and cultural texture; it is a civilizational activity and old yet renewed conduct, based on the principle that work comes first and last. It is thus important to abide by identity as a work and a value of work.

These thoughts are arising now while we are celebrating the 40th national day: how do we celebrate this day at schools and can these meanings be transformed into lessons in addition to saluting the flag and singing the national anthem?

To a strategic extent, these concepts should be incorporated in curriculums and in the short run, we shouldparticipate in the celebrations and lessons and lectures should be designed to shape a new student public opinion. Many Emiratis, some of whom are students, graduates and employees, are detached from their history and culture. We should use this great occasion to the fullest so that everyone’s knowledge about their history and culture may increase beyond the horizons.

National identity is all the important and beautiful words and concepts that we have been focusing on since 2008. It is the value of work as well as productivity, and the value of work and productivity in particular. It is the culture of taking the initiative and participation, the culture of knowledge and presence. The culture of absence definitely does not express our national identity. The message is directed to society as a whole and to our children at schools in particular.

By: Ibn Al Deira Al Khaleej Newspaper
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