Khalaf Al Habtoor – The Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group met with six students from Emirates International School Meadows on May 24, 2012.
The students who arrived at the Al Habtoor head office at 11am were accompanied by the school Principal David Charles Hicks and their teacher Mandy Butterworth.
The meeting lasted one hour and the children were interested in particular in Al Habtoor’s writing. Although a successful businessman he is also known throughout the region for his political commentaries and these have recently been amalgamated in a new book - the 2012 edition of Essays for Truth Seekers.
The students, who included Vivek Harjani- Grade 12, Majd Nassif-Grade 12, Mariam Hana Mikho-Grade 12, Suzie El Nakla- Grade 10, Bihu Malhotra-Grade 10 and Muhammed Alan-Grade 10 asked Al Habtoor questions about the UAE economy; the GCC Union in comparison to the EU; the political situation in Syria; and the recent elections in Egypt.
“I’m very pleased to welcome you here today,” Al Habtoor told the assembled crowd, adding his advice on how to achieve in life: “I want you to dream big and aim high, but always to keep your feet on the ground, and work hard to achieve to your goals,” he said. “Everyone starts off in a small way and must work hard to achieve his or her goals.” And he encouraged them to study: “Education will give you the tools you need to succeed in life but it is only through hard work that you will achieve. Remember you are the future of this world and we count on you to make it better. The most important thing in life is always to retain your integrity,” he added.
After the meeting he said that he was very impressed with the students’ questions; their level of intelligence; and their knowledge of politics and the economy.
When one of them had asked which achievement he was most proud of in life, Al Habtoor had replied: “I’m proud of Emirates International Schools. They are like snapshots of the UAE in that they are attended by students of over 100 different nationalities – all of whom are living in harmony within the one nation.
“I’m proud of my country,” he’d added, “because it is a model in terms of security, infrastructure, opportunity and sophistication. It is truly cosmopolitan.”