His Excellency

I passed through Dubai recently, and noticed that almost every Emirati in the news is a “His Highness” or a “His Excellency”. (I am not sure what it takes to be royalty in these parts, but when it comes to honorofics, one expects a degree of restraint.)

Anyway, I read this story in the Gulf News. Apparently, a 1 year old baby (her name is Nayana) has been charged with “staying in the country illegally” and was going to be deported. (What??? They expected the baby to stand in line for a visa?)

Her mother, a nurse at a hospital in Sharjah, was understandably distraught until, after a year of uncertainty, the minster of “interior” , a certain Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan granted Nayana a visa.

The Sheik said,”Every effort must be made to help those in trouble, no matter who they are, or where they come from.”

Very magnanimous of him. I think the Lieutenant deserves an upgrade to “His Excellency”.

May 8, 2009 | 9:00 am | By Dr Shyam Bhat