Defeated FNC candidate returns to 'laughter and kisses of pupils'

For Dr Shamsa Salim Al Balooshi, yesterday heralded the start of her return to life as normal.

FNC candidates Haeema Ali Al Shehi, left, and Dr Shamsa Salim Al Balooshi wait for the results at the Al Ain Exhibition Centre on Saturday.
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AL AIN // For Dr Shamsa Salim Al Balooshi, yesterday heralded the start of her return to life as normal.

Since the start of the month she had been campaigning, hoping that she would win a seat on the FNC on Saturday.

As the votes were counted, Dr Al Balooshi, 45, sat with three other women at the Al Ain Convention Centre, hoping her name would be announced as a winner.

As the male candidates paced back and forth, she sat quietly, repeating verses from the Quran in her head.

There she remained until it was announced that the results would be late, at which point she went home to her family.

At 11pm she discovered that her hopes had been dashed. Instead of taking a seat on the FNC, she would be returning to her job as principal of Al Towayya Primary School.

"Before the results were announced, I didn't know what the next day would bring," said Dr Al Balooshi yesterday.

"Either my life would change drastically or it would return to the way it was.

"Now I know that I will be returning back to the laughter and kisses of my pupils and I am happy.

"Taking part in the elections was a great experience and my civic duty and I'm happy that I tried.

"I got to know a lot of people and their views on different issues and learnt a lot about myself.

"I'm disappointed that I won't have the opportunity to serve the citizens of this community as their FNC representative but I remain undeterred to serve the divorced, orphaned and the elderly in other ways." Dr Al Balooshi spoke of her surprise that three out of the four winners in Abu Dhabi were from the same tribe.

"I was astounded," she said. "I keep wondering how this could have happened.

"There are many tribes in Al Ain and throughout the UAE. I just don't understand."

She has no regrets about her campaign and does not feel that doing anything differently would have helped her win.

She is already looking to the next elections, in 2015.

"If none of my siblings put their names forward as candidates, then I may," she said.

"In four years the world will have changed and people's needs may change. I will have to see when the time comes."