'It breaks my heart to see great artisanal skills underappreciated'

Filed on March 13, 2020

Salem Thani Al Remeithi, Founder of Albatar on discovering that money can't buy happiness, and discovering his own mantra

What is your best childhood memory?
My best childhood memory is going to my grandmother's house every weekend - nothing fancy, just simple joys and quality family time. In the hustle-bustle of today, you realise how important the little things are and the happiness they can bring you.  

If you could move anywhere in the world for free, what place would that be?
While I'd love to live on an island with no access to social media, I'm not sure how long I'd last. There's really nothing like home - and that means there's nowhere like Abu Dhabi.

The biggest learning point or experience in your life.
My world came to a standstill when my daughter was critically ill a few years ago. There is nothing more important than your family and their health. You may be the richest man in the world but, as they say, money definitely can't buy happiness.

What is the one skill you'd love to learn, and why?
I'd like to learn how to read people instantly and understand micro expressions; it would make business a lot easier. For those who haven't watched [TV show] Lie To Me - watch an episode; I'm sure you'll be hooked.  

If you could go back to any era in time or witness any major event in history, which one would it be, and why?
Perhaps the arts and crafts movement between the 1880s and 1920s - a time when craftsmanship was hugely valued. Fast fashion is wonderful, but it breaks my heart to see great artisanal skills underappreciated.

What advice would you give your younger self, if you could?
Create your own law of attraction. Dreaming of becoming does not come without hard work and consistent goals. Try different approaches and paths. Personally, success did not come to me by chance. I went through four manufacturing factories till I found my own secret mantra. So, find your own mantra! No one will perfect it better than you.

Your greatest fear.
Coming from a family that has always done good for others, I fear being surrounded by people who are unfair and unjust in their ways. This, of course, isn't something in my control, but I'm always mindful of the people I surround myself with and hope that I always build relationships with those who uplift each other in their journeys.

If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day, who would it be and why?
My son, Thani. It would be good to relive my childhood, where I can be innocent and not have a care in the world for just one day.

Favourite movie character of all time - and why.
Tom Hanks as Chuck Noland in Cast Away. It's such a well-made movie with a simple, yet great storyline. Chuck's mental, physical and emotional transformation throughout the movie is phenomenal. From portraying regular city life to being stranded on an island with just a volleyball for company, his acting was outstanding. I think he truly outdid himself.

If you were President of your country, what is the first thing you'd do?
Abu Dhabi and the UAE have had the best presidents that a country could ask for, and I probably wouldn't do anything better than they've done for our country.  
- Staff reporter


 
 
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