Maradona Press Conference
May 15 0’11, the papers screamed in fervor that the UAE football giants Al Wasl had signed the Argentinean football God, Diego Maradona. Who would have guessed that 3 weeks later I would be placed infront of him, prepping myself to ask him a question.
Uth Mag was chosen as the only youth organization to be present at this monumental occasion in UAE football history. When we reached the Zabeel Saraya the big guns were already there-CNN,BBC – armed with their units of professionals and equipment that resembled army grade sniper rifles. We had a team of 5 with a handycam. a SLR camera and truckloads of zest and passion. I think that best describes us – Passion. It’s what defines us and distinguishes us from the others. We aren’t afraid to try, to put ourselves out there and throw caution to the wind.
The questions flowed & he answered them graciously, laced with large quantities of wit and character. As the event was coming to an end, we were signaled to be the last organization to ask him a question. Let me paint a picture: IF you were in a poker tournament and all your money, your family’s money, heck ! your country’s money was on the line and you needed to keep a poker face while calling a bluff AND Maradaona was in front of you. Well congratulations ! You are one broke bloke who is probably on his country’s most wanted list. Its just not possible. No amount of preparation could get you ready for this. Trained, professional journalists could barely contain their excitement. What shot did I have? I called out to him, my face lit up like a Christmas tree and I quickly spewed out my question trying my hardest not to make a fool out of myself. And I listened intently. This was possibly the most important vibration to be ever recorded by my ear drums. It was in Spanish and I had no clue what he was saying. But when Maradona talks, you LISTEN.
So the Legend enters and the crowd goes bezerk . A thunderstorm of photo-flashes, a ritualistic chanting of “Diego” and a craze in the eyes of everyone present there that is best understood by Argentinean soccer fans. You almost expected him to break into a head-spinning offensive run down the right flank, toy and push past 6 English defenders and scoreeeeee!!!! He didn’t …..Dammit!
In my short span working for the Uth Mag I have met some exceedingly talented students in the field of writing, editing, photography, video-photography and management. I’ve had the opportunity to head and manage an entire event. I have gained real life experience in dealing with people, and situations that will undoubtedly help me in my career. And now I got to share a room with Diego Maradona. This is what Uth Mag represents. A portal to a world of opportunities. To give the youth of today a voice. To display the plethora of talent and resources the youth possess. To inspire and revolutionize their thought process and to announce to the world that the youth are here to take over. Uth Mag is not to be a stack of commercial literature. It is not run, managed or designed by adults way past the understanding of our generation. This magazine’s motto echoes ‘ for the students – by the students.’ Today it was Maradona. Who knows where our passion takes us next?