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Dubai's ruler' letter on science
By:Abdullah Ali Al-Harbi, Jeddah
Date: Monday, 22 May 2017, 1:07 am

Dubai's ruler wrote an open letter about science ... and it went viral
Over 30 million have read it via Facebook alone.
2017-05-18 10:35
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Jason Lemon
By Jason Lemon Managing Editor

An open letter by Dubai's ruler highlighting the importance of science and innovation has gone completely viral, receiving tens of millions of views on social media.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, who is also the vice president and prime minister of the UAE, wrote the letter for the inaugural edition of Popular Science Arabia magazine. It has since been viewed more than 30 million times via Facebook and more than 17 million times via Twitter, according to Emirates News Agency (WAM).

The first issue of the magazine was published last month and the Dubai Media Office reported the letter's viral reach on Wednesday.

In the letter, Sheikh Mohammed tells the people of the region "not to wait but to seize the initiative," warning that waiting can come with a "hefty price tag of wasted time and missed opportunities."

He highlights the historic significance of Arabic scholars and the Arabic language to science and innovation.

"Our Arabic language has always been one of learning and science; it will not fail to absorb and adapt to the sciences and discoveries of our day," he writes.

Sheikh Mohammed points out that the present moment in history is one of "rapid changes, monumental achievements, and profound knowledge and discoveries." He believes that the Arab world must "evolve, adapt, and learn at the same pace as our world is transforming."

"We must learn in our own language and within our own culture," he writes in the letter.

This isn't the first time Dubai's ruler has penned a viral open letter, and it's definitely not the first time he's promoted the importance of science and innovation.

Sheikh Mohammed has been instrumental in promoting innovative and technological advancements throughout the UAE. From self-driving cars, to renewable energy, to a UAE space program that plans to build a city on Mars within 100 years, he has made scientific advancement an integral part of the nation's future vision.

Arab youth can recognize the bright future Sheikh Mohammed and the other leaders of the UAE are striving for as well. According to the 2017 Arab Youth Survey, one in three Arab young people see the UAE as an ideal place to live in. The UAE also leads as a nation Arab youth want their respective countries to emulate.

"Dubai is a source of pride for us young Arabs, the emirate inspires us to persevere and go after our dreams," Omar Mohamed, a student at the University of Jordan, told WAM.