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.
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) May 17, 2017
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.