Years ago an old man made his way up a pedestrian crossing at a busy railway station. He had a small brown suitcase in his right hand and a walking stick in his left. Leaning on his stick, he lifted his suitcase onto a step, before climbing up himself. Lift, climb, lift, climb ... progress was painfully slow.

He was on the sixth or seventh step when two girls rushed past, one taking the stairs two a time in her hurry to catch the
train. They were nearing the top, when one of them stopped, looked back, seemed undecided for a second before going back down to help the old man up.

A small gesture ... but one that must have made a big difference to the old man. And I'm sure the teenager would have felt that much happier for her act of kindness.

Life is that much smoother when people are considerate; holding the door open for a stranger rather than let it swing back into his face; giving way to a driver who is patiently showing his indicator, rather than speed up just so he doesn't squeeze in between you and the car in front; switching off your mobiles at the cinemas rather than talk loudly while everybody else is straining to catch the dialogue on screen.

But as life gets tougher and more competitive, we seem to be losing out on such small gestures of kindness. We are becoming more 'I-centric' - where life is all about me - my needs, my ambitions, my future, my rights.

Is that the pattern of your life? If I look at my life very honestly, I would say, yes to that question. I might not let the door bang in someone's face, but I find that I increasingly don't have time for friends, family … my garden. Rather than
harping on the 'I don't have the time,' it's probably a case of 'I don't want to make the time, take the effort … ."

It's time we eased up a bit, took life a little less seriously. We have our dreams to fulfil, the many miles to go before we
sleep, but let's strive to make that journey pleasant for us and our neighbour.


Please suggest a masters programme
I have a BSc (Honours) degree from Osmania University, Hyderabad, India, (attested by the UAE Consulate in India) in
Microbiology and Genetics. I intend doing MSc in Biotechnology or any other field, but only evening or distance learning to enhance my career prospects. Could you please suggest some courses being offered by institutions in Dubai Knowledge Village, or in the Sharjah/Ajman area ?
Presently I am working in a data feeding/computer-related job in Sharjah and would also welcome any suggestions for evening courses to do my masters in any other field, other than biotechnology.

We offer some of the masters programme available in Dubai (as accredited by the Ministry of Education). You can get more details about the institutes based in Dubai Knowledge Village by visiting

Abu Dhabi University

  • Master of Arts
    Teaching English As A Foreign Language
  • Master of Education
    Educational Leadership
    Teaching And Learning
  • Master of Science
    Computer Science
  • MBA

Ajman University of Science And Technology

  • Master of Science
    Ground Water Engineering and Management
    Information Systems
  • MBA

Al Ain University of Science and Technology

  • MBA

Al Hosn University

  • Master of Education
  • MBA

American University in Dubai

  • MBA

American University of Sharjah

  • Master of Arts
    English/Arabic/English Translation and Interpreting
  • Master of Science
    Engineering Systems Management
  • Mechatronic Engineering
    Urban Planning
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Masters
    Teaching English - Speakers of other Languages (Tesol)
  • MBA

British University in Dubai

  • Master of Education
  • Master Of Science
    Enviromental Design of Buildings
    Finance And Banking
    Information Technology Management
    Information Technology Teaching
    Project Management

Centennial University of Dubai

  • Master Of Science

Dubai Police Academy

  • Master of Law
    International Investments and Commercial Law
  • Master of Police Sciences
    Criminal Investigation
    Security Crisis Management
  • Masters (Law)

Electronic Total Quality Management (E-TQM College)

  • Master of Science
    Organisational Excellence
  • Etisalat University College
    Masters by Research (Engineering)

Institute of Management Technology-Dubai

  • MBA

University of Sharjah

  • Master Of Science
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical and Electronics Engineering

University Of Wollongong In Dubai

  • Master
  • Applied Finance and Banking
  • Engineering Management
  • Information Technology Management
  • Business Administration
  • International Business
  • Quality Management
  • Strategic Human Resource Management
  • Strategic Marketing

The higher education response has been provided by Subramanian K., head of the Dubai branch of Career Launcher, one of India's largest education companies

Doing my bit
This is with regard to the letter 'Do your bit for society' (Notes, 11/02/2007). It does speak some truth, but I think
generalising does hurt. I don't think the West is more concerned. We are all human, have our weaknesses and faults. As long as I can remember, I was with a group anyone would probably term nerds – not the clichéd glasses, bad hair, bad dressing etc [actually, I think that is a poor image!].
We studied, got high grades, competed to be on top, and helped one another along the way, having discussions on how to solve this, write this, do this. We actually had fun, in not only helping but getting the grades we deserved; the class tailing behind us didn't meet up to the standards we had set. I see this happening in university as well; it's not that they are not smart, but probably too pampered, or have no
discipline and focus.

Material world

Of late, the world revolves around material things, the latest mobiles, the latest laptops, forget all that, get Black Berry!
All these things are ridiculous, I tend to criticise my sister for following such a trend that is meaningless. I am scared
because this country will be passed down to the youth, and my question is: are they good enough? The government seems to be giving them everything on a silver platter, but it seems [like everything else] all is taken for
granted. The reality is our life is actually no life. People may have fun and enjoy, but work needs to be done, dedication seen, and the feeling of accomplishment breathed in. There are only two choices in this world: being practical, and being useless. We have to make the decisions and decide, it starts from here, and then it grows. Omar Mohammad, thank you for apologising at the end of your letter; I think you, Abiya, Reema and I have the same hope, and maybe with just a bit more, those in 'coma' might awaken.
A reader

The student editorial board

In alphabetical order:
Ali Abbas - Middlesex University, Dubai
Anureet Kaur - Al Diyafah High School
Atia Rabbani - American University of Sharjah
Ayesha Akbar Ali - Our Own English High School, Dubai
Dana Yashou - American Univerity of Sharjah
Fiona Lettifi - Lycee Georges Pompidou, Dubai
Irma Faruqi - St Mary's Catholic High School, Dubai
Khulood Al Janahi - Zayed University Dubai
Kripa Jayram - Our Own English High School, Sharjah
Manal Esmail - American Univerity of Sharjah
Manasa Kalkunte - American Univerity of Sharjah
Mekhala Chaubal - Randolph-Macon Women's College, Virginia, USA
Nasreen Abdullah - American Univerity of Sharjah
Ola Shanata - American Univerity of Sharjah
Omer Mohammad - UAE University, Al Ain
Rosamma Joseph - Our Own English High School, Sharjah
Safiya Salim - American College of Dubai
Sampada Deshpande - Modern High School Dubai
Sara Nour - American Univerity of Sharjah
Sara Saleh - University of Sydney, Australia
Syed Hamad Ali - Aston University, Birmingham, UK
Syed Bilal Shafi - American Univerity of Sharjah
Zainab Mashoor - American Univerity of Sharjah

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