Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 28 October 2020

Faisal Al Teneiji has legacy of FNC participation

For many years, man and boy, Faisal Al Teneiji, heard tales of the FNC’s work from his grandfather, an original council member. But he had to be persuaded by his father to keep membership in the family, Ola Salem reports.
Faisal Al Teneiji’s victory in the FNC elections reduced his father to tears of joy. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National
Faisal Al Teneiji’s victory in the FNC elections reduced his father to tears of joy. Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National

ABU DHABI // Faisal Al Teneiji first heard about the Federal National Council from his grandfather – but he had no intention of following in his footsteps.

His grandfather, a tribal man from Ras Al Khaimah, was a member of the first FNC council in 1972. Although his term was for only two years, he remained up to date on the council’s work, so conversations about the parliamentary body were unavoidable..

“I remember in the 1990s he would ask me to drive him to see the FNC speaker in Dubai,” Mr Al Teneiji says. “Until his final days, he would follow up on people’s needs. He wouldn’t wait for people to come to him, rather he would go to them.”

Mr Al Teneiji was happily settled in his business and family life in Ras Al Khaimah, but after a phone call from his father asking him to run in the FNC elections, he was persuaded to think about standing.

“Until the first day of registration I was undecided,” he says. “On the second day, my father told me to take my chances, and that ‘we are with you’.

“I made a very quick decision. The registration went smoothly – deep down I felt I could win this.”

When Mr Al Teneiji won his seat, his father wept with joy.

“To be honest, when I heard about the FNC, it was not on my mind that I would one day become a member,” he says. “I knew what it was, and I knew what to expect, Some of the members were taken aback to learn of the laws inside the council, but I wasn’t.”

The last three years have flown by.

“We learnt so much in those three years,” he says. “Everyday, if not from the FNC’s public session, then from the committee meetings.”

Mr Al Teneiji admits that being on the council has helped in his business life. “There is a political side, even in business,” he says.

One of his biggest accomplishments in the council was to change the way the Complaints and Appeals committee deals with nationals’ complaints. Because of the bureaucracy, matters were not being resolved fast enough.

“Seventy per cent of these complaints are to do with job rankings and promotions,” he says. “Previously, we would get a complaint, then send a letter to the ministry and wait for a response or a meeting. Now, with the new system, we get a complaint, then call the minister straight away.”

The phone calls usually lead to informal sessions where the cases are often resolved quickly.

He has also shown an interest in the state of services in the Northern Emirates, and bringing the area in line with Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Although Mr Al Teneiji is undecided on returning to the council, he said he is looking forward to his next year.

osalem@thenational.ae

Updated: October 6, 2014 04:00 AM

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