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More than a million users on social networks have shared since 2019 a statement attributed to the Emir of Dubai, Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid al Maktum, where he discusses the future of his country and affirms that his great-grandchild – son “will have to walk again”. on a camel.” He then wonders how easy times “create weak men” and concludes by asking to raise “warriors, not parasites”. But there is no record of the ruler of the emirate pronouncing the words, which were also attributed to his father, Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum.The statement mixes phrases from a 2016 novel and a quote attributed to a Saudi politician.
“They consulted the founder of Dubai, *Sheikh Rashid*, on the future of his country, and he replied: ‘My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes , my son drives a Land Rover, and my grandson is going to drive a Land Rover, but my great-grandson is still going to ride a camel’”say the posts on Facebook, which have been circulating in Spanish since 2019 and were still being shared in 2021. The statement continues: “Hard times make strong men, strong men make easy times. Easy times make weak men, weak men make hard times. Many won’t understand this but you have to raise warriors, not parasites”.
This video, with the same message, places the Sheikh’s statements in a 2014 interview, while this user attributes the words to Shaikh Rashid Bin Saced Al Maktoum.
The statements put in the mouth of the sheikh were also shared by netizens in English, who framed them in an interview “exclusive” for the British BBC network, and in Portuguese.
According to the video shared in Spanish, the “Dubai Prime Minister Sheikh Rashid” answered on the future of his country “In an Interview” with the words of his great-grandson. Mixing images of the city-state of Dubai and the sheikh himself being interviewed, the video’s voiceover indicates that the interviewer, “Very confused, she asked” for the declaration, then the leader gave the speech on strong and weak men, “Warriors and Parasites”.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid al Maktoum is Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and rules in Dubai, one of the seven emirates. He is a billionaire and owns the Godolphin racehorse team.
Mohamed bin Rashid al Maktum has been embroiled in a legal battle for months with Princess Haya, his sixth wife, who fled the emirate in 2019, while his daughter Latifa has not been seen in public since 2018, when she attempted to escape from the city-state.
Meanwhile, Dubai is an important regional center and a destination for millions of tourists, who this year can visit Expo 2020, postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
No record of similar statements by the sheikh
In line with details provided in some of the viralized posts, Mohamed bin Rashid gave an interview to the BBC in 2014. These images appear in the video which summarizes the Emir’s alleged statements. In this interview, he was asked about the human rights situation in the city-state, as well as a horse doping scandal and Dubai’s exit from a debt crisis.
Although he was questioned about his “vision of the future” of Dubai, the sheikh then did not utter the words attributed to him. He said he didn’t see the future, but he wanted Dubai to be “the number one”. “If you tell me now, if in 20 years, if we will still be alive, I don’t see where we are going… My vision is for Dubai to be number one and the happiest nation. Everything on this path. You know we want to be number one.”commented.
In turn, the statements circulating on social media intertwine phrases from a 2016 novel and a Saudi politician, according to a dictionary of must-have quotes.
The words: “Hard times create strong men, strong men create easy times. Easy times make weak men, weak men make hard times.” They appear in the novel “Those Who Remain”, written by G. Michael Hopf and of which AFP Factual did not find a Spanish translation.
For its part, the quote about camels, Mercedes and Land Rover has also been attributed to the Saudi politician Ahmed Zaki Yamani in this Oxford Reference dictionary.