HE Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi opens up about her ground-breaking role – and some of the more unusual requests her office receives.

As far as job titles go, Minister of State for Happiness is up there with the best of them.

But with that role comes great responsibility, says Her Excellency Ohood Al Roumi.

The former economist, who was appointed to the newly-created job last year, has revealed the art of happiness isn’t a “fluffy” subject, as some might think.

“I assure you, it’s a science,” the minister told the Los Angeles Times this month.

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“It touches on medicine, health, social sciences. We’re trying to bring it from a broad framework into a daily practice in our society [and] in our government.”

In the eye-opening interview, Al Roumi also opened up about the requests her office has received since she took up the post.

Revealing that at least 70 people have sent her WhatsApp messages or called her office, the minister said most residents get in touch to complain about government services.

However a few personal requests do make it to Al Roumi, who does her best to help.

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HE told the newspaper that one woman contacted her office after her parents refused to accept her husband.

“I told her, ‘You need to convince them,’” she said. “This is your life. I’m sorry, I would love to help, but this is not part of my scope.

 
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“When we talk about happiness, I don’t refer to pleasures or momentary feelings. It’s the authentic, long-term happiness.”

Since taking her role, Al Roumi has launched several initiatives around the country, including a 100-Day Happiness Plan, and a five-month positivity training programme for local CEOs.

We can’t wait to see what she has in store for this year…

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