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UAE businessman is honoured by US city

posted on 24/06/2007: 646 views

An Emirati entrepreneur who is dedicating his life and business to bridging cultures and fighting stereotypes is the first UAE citizen to be bestowed an honorary mayorship of an American city.

Mohammad Al Sa'adi, 35, was recently named honorary mayor-president of Baton Rouge, capital of the southern US state of Louisiana.

Al Sa'adi, head of Tomorrow's Vision - Middle East and North Africa, a company engaged in the development of creative thinking and educational skills, says the award is "an honour for all of the UAE".

"When I was being honoured I was thinking of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. He has always been my model.

The award is proof that our efforts to change the distorted image of Arabs in the West is on the right track," Al Sa'adi said. "I believe that more understanding can be achieved between different cultures."

For nearly two decades, Al Sa'adi has been working in the field of creative thinking and developing human resources, which led him to establish his company in partnership with some American businessmen and scientists. The company is affiliated with many similar companies and institutions around the world such as the American National Foundation for Thought.

"I found out that most Americans think that the Middle East, especially post 9/11, is a place which introduced terrorism to the world. We are trying to change the distorted image." He said his company introduced a special programme for US businessmen who want to invest in the UAE, giving them a background on its history, culture, traditions and how to communicate with people.

"Some Americans think we have terror bombings all over the region. They look at the Middle East as one block, thinking all countries are the same." Arabs unfortunately have no medium to deliver their views to the others in the West, he said. "All our efforts are only a reaction to other actions. We seem defensive as if we are always suspects. Moreover, our religion has been used in a bad way because it was understood wrongly by its followers. We need to understand our religion better in order to live better," he said. (Gulf News)


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