Topic of Presentation: Sharing My Life Experiences by Geeta Chhabra at Zayed Univeristy Convention Center On 31st July 2013 at 11 am (Press Conference)

Your Excellency Mr. Mirza Al Sayegh, esteemed Faculty-Members of Zayed University & other Divisions, Media Persons, dear Students – Ramadan Kareem! I feel privileged to be in these august surroundings to be sharing a few thoughts on my life-experiences, and how I feel being a woman.

I think, life, itself, is the biggest classroom and out of our life’s experiences – we learn many precious lessons. Observations also become an important part of our experience. What I have keenly observed as a long time Indian residing in Dubai has constantly influenced me. In contemporary context, I cannot fall behind to record how well the Emirati women are participating in building their nation’s strength in many purposeful ways. This is a very crucial point of my address – a vital fact for me to express to the outside world, as a writer. Thanks to the visionary rulers – the Islamic environment in UAE is thriving with the most promising results in all sectors – women are contributing freely on high levels. As a woman, I have felt enriched. In fact, these very surroundings became havens for me – which subsequently was the birth of my book: An Indian Ode To The Emirates.

Dear Students, going through the journey of life – which means gaining victories, facing disappointments and even going through pain – there are a few ground rules I work around and they seem to work for me! They are:

  1. Do your best in your given circumstances and leave the fruit of your actions to the Almighty. Allah certainly helps those who help themselves.
  2. Be honest and truthful to yourself. All good things will follow.
  3. Treat your problems as challenges. Don’t brood over them; face your challenges like they are your goals. This will make you strong.
  4. Believe in your dreams with a conviction – however, be realistic at the same time.
  5. Understand details. Go into details.
  6. Be grateful to your peers.

Dear Students – you are very fortunate – thanks to the remarkable infrastructure offered to you by your leaders and government. For instance, amongst innumerable shining examples, H. H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s commitment for the cause of women’s growth and their education is the proof of the pudding! Thanks to such forward-looking-programmes:

  1. The ratio of Emirati literate females within the age of 15 to 24 year group – overall literacy is reaching 90% – which is excellent.
  2. 77% of Emirati women continue on to higher education; a large number of women seek employment after graduation.
  3. For Gender Empowerment Measures – UAE has ranked 29th among 177 countries – the “BEST” rating received in the Arab World. As I speak, UAE must have climbed even to a better position by now!

Speaking of my own country - today, in all Indian sectors of economy, women are contributing.

Lovely Students! Your each cup is filled with a song. Keep pace with your dreams! I wish you success for Dundee & other Academic Programmes.

Your Excellency Mr. Mirza Al Sayegh, honourable members of society – thank you for giving me this honour.

Geeta Chhabra

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