Middle East

UAE's Happiness Minister wants to see more positive stories

  • UAE first Minister of State for Happiness, Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi reacts as she is talking during the Arab Media Forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

    UAE first Minister of State for Happiness, Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi reacts as she is talking during the Arab Media Forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)  (The Associated Press)

  • An Emirati visitor attends the Arab Media Forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Jordan's foreign minister is saying that Palestinian statehood is the most important issue now facing the world and fuels the extremism gripping the Mideast. Nasser Judeh made the comment Tuesday at the Arab Media Forum, an event taking place in Dubai, the commercial hub of the United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

    An Emirati visitor attends the Arab Media Forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Jordan's foreign minister is saying that Palestinian statehood is the most important issue now facing the world and fuels the extremism gripping the Mideast. Nasser Judeh made the comment Tuesday at the Arab Media Forum, an event taking place in Dubai, the commercial hub of the United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)  (The Associated Press)

  • UAE first Minister of State for Happiness, Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi talks during the Arab Media Forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

    UAE first Minister of State for Happiness, Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi talks during the Arab Media Forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)  (The Associated Press)

The United Arab Emirates' minister for happiness says part of her mission is to encourage local media to tell more positive stories because "happiness is contagious."

Minister of State for Happiness Ohood Al Roumi, who was appointed to the newly-formed post in February, says focusing on positive aspects of everyday life could help give people in the Middle East hope. She says when people are optimistic, they are more productive and creative.

Speaking Wednesday at Dubai's Arab Media Forum, she said the media cannot ignore the hard realities facing the region, but that to focus on negative stories exposes people to depression and leads to people "thinking the world is an awful place."

The Happiness Minster said for every terrorist, there are thousands of inventors, inspirational teachers and doctors too.